First Artist Review!
Review by Charles Fisher
I always enjoy a good spunky female vocalist, arguably the heyday of which was in the 70’s with the likes of Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde leading the way. In the modern age people looking for a similar kind of style are probably looking at the likes of P!nk, Hayley Williams from Paramore or The Late Amy Winehouse. Which is exactly how Carli Ward describes herself to unfamiliar listeners, in terms of grit and drive and rawness Carli shares qualities with those singers and much more.
Carli is a singer/songwriter and trained dancer from the south east of England, after studying performing arts at college she then went on to gain a degree in music and dance at university. She was working various jobs to get money for studio time, (used to record the songs available on her website) she dedicated time to begin writing and recording her own album.
During 2011 Carli spent months in Los Angeles, touring the notorious music venues gaining experience and contacts. She then moved onto Sydney, Australia where she was based for the next year, also performing and working with Australian producers on brand new material. Gaining experience performing in talent shows, open mics etc. in London’s famous West End Theatre district and working with a handful of music producers, she dedicated time to begin writing and recording her own album.
The tracks I looked at are available at Carlimusic.com.
I started with “Finger Nails”, beginning with muted guitars and bass riffs reminiscent of Meredith Brooks’s “Bitch” complete with echoed vocals. The song has just the right kind of bounce to it, and is a solid pop-rocker.
I then moved to another rocker, “I was Blind” which is much more rock/punk, with definite tonal similarities to the pretenders, and even Sonic Youth.
The thing is, Carli’s voice is generally considered unusual for this kind of music, but is well suited for the tone of the songs. Somebody perfectly pitching each note would lose the immediacy and raw emotion behind why they were written in the first place, it was the same for those bands in the 70’s and it’s the same here, so she does well.
Mixed in are a couple of more melodic ballad pieces “detective” and “breaking up”, the latter in particular wouldn’t be out of place on top 40 radio. With Carli’s vocals giving a really interesting edge in comparison to the softly played piano, having similar tones to Paloma Faith (a comparison Carli will probably hit me for)!
She also has a large and diverse collection of covers on her Facebook page, which are worth checking out if you like what you hear.
The word I used to to describe Carli is raw, in terms of talent, emotion and honesty. I will be excited to see how things develop for her.
She is now finally back in the UK and starting to gig in London shortly. Pop in if you have a chance.