August 3rd, 2015 | Album reviews

self-titled EP
Burger Records

Pearl Charles, the drummer of the Blank Tapes, has a brand new project that is one of the most exciting projects to come out in 2015. Her Blank Tapes bandmate Matt Adams backs her, and while this is partially a realignment of the previous group, this project has a sound all its own. The downbeat sleepy psychedelic sound of Blank Tapes with the occasional Americana twist to it has been taken to a more upbeat place with pop songs that have a slightly western cut to them. The Pearl Charles self-titled debut EP packs a punch from the very first track. The vocals have a touch of raspiness, full of sultry tones that hit the right melody. The six songs on this release are deceptively simple at first listen due to their very catchy nature, but are very complex upon further examination. Take, for example, the first single and one of the many greats on this EP, “You Can Change”: it has a repeating guitar hook and minimal keys that sweep through the background as Charles’ vocals carry the weight of the song. The structure itself consists essentially of one verse that is slightly altered each time it is sung, but it is so clever in its execution that it is pleasantly infectious. The same formula goes for the majority of these songs with occasional alteration to the backing music, such as on the track “India Burnout,” which plays with some chanting and psychedelic sounds. Closing out the album is a track entitled “Idea To Her” that takes things to the ballad realm with a traditional song structure that winds down the album nicely. Overall the tunes here are perfect to dance to or even make out if you are with someone special.

—Zachary Jensen