Charlotte Day Wilson is an analogue girl living in a digital world. You may have come across her name if you’re familiar with ‘In Your Eyes’ by BadBadNotGood. This unsigned, 23-year-old Toronto singer projects a classical kind of wisdom with her voice, and yet has a deft talent for producing contemporary soul and R&B. Such an alignment is rare nowadays, and her debut EP, CDW, solidifies her as one of 2016’s most arresting new talents.
Slow-cooked emotion is what Wilson’s music is about. There’s a deep, jazz tone to it similar to Alice Russell, but also a serene timbre that emanates that of Julia Holter – in fact, opening mood-setter, ‘On You Own’, gives off a strong sense of Holter’s ‘Hello Stranger’. Straddling these different vocal styles, her voice is as confounding and as it is captivating.
Beyond her vocals, nimble compositions and production complete Wilson’s enthralling spells. All of the tracks were produced by Wilson; save for ‘Where Do You Go’, produced by River Tiber. Some songs morph gracefully from subtle downtempo into soulful Jessie Ware-type instrumental hooks (‘After All’). Others, influenced by trap, lurch and expand sedately, as Wilson’s voice resonates above piano loops or light dressings of saxophone (‘Work’, ‘Find You’).
The verses on CDW EP don’t quite have the vivid quality of Julia Holter or, say, London Grammar’s Hannah Reid, but the young musician has plenty of time to experiment. Wilson’s songs are contemplative, subtly sophisticated and moving. She has put plenty of work into this appetiser of musicianship and expression – once you’ve heard it, you’ll want to hear more.
CDW EP is out now, released independently by Charlotte Day Wilson.
Have you listened to this EP? If so, what did you think of it? Tweet me @aarnlee.
Image: Devon Little