Charlotte Church is back with new material, tour
In this Wednesday, March 13, 2013 photo, singer Charlotte Church poses for a photo during the SXSW Music Festival, in Austin, Texas. Church has emerged from her basement studio in Wales, a hangout for local songwriters and musicians ,with a wealth of new material she’s releasing in America on CD and showcasing at live performances at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival and in several other cities, including New York and Los Angeles, where she’ll perform at the fabled Troubadour. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP Images, File)
LONDON (AP) — In terms of chronological age, Charlotte Church — at just 27 — is probably too young for a comeback tour and album. But launching a second act can be tough when you charmed the world at 12.
As a young girl, she sold many millions of records and performed live for a president and a pope before being laid low by a no-win confrontation with Britain's tabloid press and the release of what even she admits was some mediocre pop material and a not-so-great reality TV show.
Now she's emerged from her basement studio in Wales — a hangout for local songwriters and musicians — with a wealth of new material she's releasing in the United States on CD and showcasing at live performances at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and in several other cities, including New York and Los Angeles, where she'll perform at the fabled Troubadour.
"I've been waiting a long time to come back to the States," said Church, who released the album, "One & Two," on Tuesday. Taken from two previously released EPs in Europe, it's the first of new material from the singer in the U.S. for a decade, in part because she hasn't had full confidence in her material.
Church, burdened perhaps by the "Voice of an Angel" title of her first smash album, sees America as offering a fresh start. She believes her reputation in Britain has been tarnished by tabloids that covered (and exaggerated) her every growing pain as she moved from cherubic youth into rough adolescence and more tranquil adulthood, including last year's phone hacking scandal. The singer received a $950,000 settlement from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. after his reporters were found to have been hacking into her voicemails and those of other public figures.
"I'm intrigued to see how people will take it. In the U.S., I'm known predominantly as a singer; in the U.K., I've been seen as a caricature of myself for such a long time, so it's been difficult for me to find the credibility as a musician that I so crave."
FILE - In this Wednesday, March 13, 2013 file photo, singer Charlotte Church performs during the SXSW Music Festival, in Austin, Texas. “I’ve been waiting a long time to come back to the States,” said Church, who released the album “One & Two” on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Taken from two previously released EPs in Europe, it’s the first of new material from the singer in the United States for a decade. (Photo by Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP Images, File)
Her new material is difficult to describe. Church has moved away from straight-ahead commercial pop, which didn't serve her particularly well, into a less-structured arena. There are traces of Bjork and others in her phrasing and the instrumentation varies from song to song; the purity of her soprano voice provides the unifying factor.