One of the unexpected highlights of the recent South By Southwest conference in Austin was the reappearance of the UK’s Charlotte Church--the still-young vocalist who, at the age of 27, is a recording veteran now in the midst of a dramatic stylistic shift.
The Welsh-born, one-time child star, who began her career as a classical singer via her 1998 album Voice Of An Angel, is now returning with sophisticated, sometimes dark music with echoes of goth, prog and unexpected experimentalism, evidenced most recently by her new release One & Two. The independently-released album is a compilation of the first two of five planned EPs by Church--and it is wildly, unexpectedly good, featuring her unmistakable, soaring voice in a highly appealing thoroughly contemporary context likely to appeal to an entirely new audience.
Y! Music was fortunate enough to grab some moments with Church in Austin earlier this month, during which time she performed two songs from One & Two in a stripped-down but still quite lush setting, and shared with us her thoughts about the new musical directions she’s now pursuing. Warm, friendly and quite enlightened about the contemporary music business, Church offered us one of the most memorable sessions of this year’s SXSW fest. Just take a look.