Words by Joe Booley.
Opening the EP with the lead single, ‘Shelter’, Charlotte Carpenter demonstrates her strengths as a songwriter right off the bat. Straight into a driving force of guitar and drums to fall back for the entry of Charlotte’s clean and sassy vocals, with a half-speed chorus we feel almost a complete shift of moods within the title track. As we hear her sing the words, ‘Shelter, give me shelter’ we get a vibe of Marika Hackman, but as the song goes on towards its, descent we hear strong similarities to Damien Rice’s ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’.
The latest single, ‘Hey Mr Cowboy’ takes you straight to sitting on the sofa in front of your favourite western, with it’s tremolo-drenched guitar and pure bluesy style. Charlotte takes a gentler approach to her vocal performance, which sits hand in hand with the track’s minimalist production. Ending beautifully with the words, ‘taking my last breath with you in my head’, and the effective addition of a literal breath to strengthen these words even more.
The second half of this EP is accompanied by two previously released tracks, 2016’s ‘Fire’ and ‘Lately’. With the former of the two being a perfect accompaniment to ‘Shelter’, ‘Fire’ takes you back almost to the beginning of the EP with punchy guitar riffs and a bold vocal performance from the Northampton-based songwriter. Also harnessing the use of effects like the talk box to add an extra harshness to the guitar sound, this track really is fiery. To finish off the EP, we are greeted with the gentle plucks of acoustic guitar with the track ‘Lately’, a perfect closer to an EP that expresses both the aggression and the intimacy in Charlotte’s songwriting.
Released via Charlotte’s very own label, Let It Go Records, ‘Shelter’ gives us a glimpse into the future, and what might be in store with her debut album.