Charlotte Yates: Then the Stars Start Singing (charlotteyates.com)

 |   |  1 min read

Where Have You Gone
Charlotte Yates: Then the Stars Start Singing (charlotteyates.com)

Many musicians must be plagued with self-doubt when putting their music into the world, but spare a sympathetic thought for Charlotte Yates because for many years she was offering songwriting advice in the pages of NZ Musician magazine (now online here).

So you could imagine her trepidation at being judged on the release of this album, but Yates – who was also prime mover behind the musical settings of works by Hone Tuwhare, James K Baxter and Witi Ihimaera – is as good as the advice she offered, a classy songwriter who parlays songs of nerve-end intimacy (the frayed relationship on Caroline here) or effortlessly resets a Katherine Mansfield poem The Awakening River into a gently funked sliver of songwriter/electronica and locates a chorus in the poem.

That electronica provides the bed for the slippery and seductive title track among others. Yates invites the listener in with small detail and a sense that these considered words are happening in the immediate present although located in the past (Back for More).

Not everything works quite so well (Stowaway and Jennifer strain their metaphors a little).

But Yates and her fellow travellers edge this easily from personal folk-rock (the lightlydelic Headwinds with electronica beats provided by 50Hz aka Jeremy Geor, the gently aching Where Have You Gone about a relationship which feels like it has run its course) into songs with more musical bite.

And the last of these 12 songs, The Light is Unreliable, is a real gem with an understated adult sensibility.

For more on Charlotte Yates at Elsewhere start here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Joe Jackson: Rain (Ryko/Elite)

Joe Jackson: Rain (Ryko/Elite)

By the end of the first, somewhat leaden track Invisible Man, even longtime fans might be gulping hard. But things take off after that clunker (which is much better live as the DVD which comes with... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 The Naked and Famous: Passive Me Aggressive You (Somewhat Damaged)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 The Naked and Famous: Passive Me Aggressive You (Somewhat Damaged)

From She Loves You and She's a Mod, pop music has always rung to the affirmation of "yeah yeah yeah" -- and to hear this Auckland band work it so well on their newly minted classic single... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

KYARY PAMYU PAMYU EXPLAINED, OR NOT (2014): It's the money-go-round

KYARY PAMYU PAMYU EXPLAINED, OR NOT (2014): It's the money-go-round

Like French pop, the mainstream pop music of Japan is largely a mystery to outsiders. If so much French pop is breathy or more like an innocous soundtrack to high-end visuals, Japanese pop can seem... > Read more

JOHN LENNON, THE LIFE by PHILIP NORMAN (2008): Just gimme some truth

JOHN LENNON, THE LIFE by PHILIP NORMAN (2008): Just gimme some truth

John Lennon -- who would have been 68, had he lived, at the time of this pubication -- did not have an unexamined life. In countless hours of drugs, meditation and therapy he analysed himself.... > Read more