Eva Hendricks, the singer of Charly Bliss, once said that ‘the two best emotional releases are crying and dancing, so it makes sense for me to marry the two’ and this rings true throughout all 11 songs on the Brooklyn four-piece’s second album ‘Young Enough’ (out on Barsuk on 10 May).
The synthy start to ‘Blown to Bits’ prepares you for the onslaught of bangers and also gives an insight to the powerful emotions and experiences Eva has worked her way through. She first talks about hobbies (‘Life as we know it, anything goes. Karate lessons, reality shows’ before talking about happens when we move on: ‘It’s gonna break my heart to see it blown to bits’ and ‘I don’t know what’s coming for me after 24’. ‘Capacity’ quickly follows this with Chvrches-esque distorted beats and a touch of the new romantic movement in the ’80s as Eva explains how she’s starting to accept herself for who she is: ‘I used to think that I should be good at everything. Now I know that I was wrong’. The third track ‘Under You’ swaps synths for catchy punk-leaning guitars and sums up young lust perfectly: ‘Every time you say my name, I think it must be fate’. ‘Camera’, meanwhile, has more of a chillwave vibe and even mentions California before throwing in a killer slackerpop guitar solo.
The album’s title track is all buoyant guitar hooks and wistful observations about how ‘we’re young enough to believe it should hurt this much’. With ‘wall of sound’ production values, it is an anthem-in-waiting with confessional lyrics: ‘I can’t protect you now if I couldn’t save you’. Eva opens up about a past abusive relationship on many of the songs but also looks over some of the thoughts she had growing up e.g. ‘I always wanted my sister’s face on ‘Bleach’ a shoe-shuffling song that seems to be the result of an enthusiastic drinking session between The Postal Service and Carly Rae Jepsen… ‘Chatroom’ has one of the most eye-opening lines of the year as Eva demands ‘I want to see you stripped down naked’ and then says ‘I’m not gonna take you home’. It’s a riff-infused takedown of toxic masculinity and dudes who believe they’re ‘the second coming’.
The penultimate ‘Hard to Believe’ is a power-pop banger that would pack indie discos all over the world, especially with double-edged lyrics like ‘I’m kissing everything that moves. I’m missing everything that takes me away from you’ and the closing, arena-baiting ‘The Truth’ has dark humour running through it as Eva admits her sanity has dissolved and talks openly about the ‘wine stains on our bed sheets’…
The band say this album has been inspired by their mutual love of pop music and ‘songs that just stick with you for a really long time’ and you can hear that. Back in the day, every single one of these tracks could have been a top 20 single and it’s a refreshing, vibrant album bursting with honesty that captures the trials and tribulations of being young in the modern world.
Fri 10 May. Headrow House, Leeds
Mon 13 May. The Garage, London.
Tue 14 May. Rough Trade East, London