Old Flame – Charlotte Grayson  (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I sometimes cast my ears around the current pop scene and do that cliched, grumpy old man thing…”it was all better back in my day”. It wasn’t but with the onslaught of TV talent show wannabes and the synchronised dance routine driven videos which pour out of the ivory towers of the “music industry,” it’s easy to become jaded. And then a single pops up like the latest from Charlotte Grayson and I have to check myself and admit that everything seems to be in safe hands. At least in some quarters.

Charlotte Grayson has, over a series of deftly honed singles, proven that she is not just another young, acoustic guitar slinger working the pop-indie-folk crossover. Well, she is, but she is so much more too and whilst her singles ooze with appeal and infectiousness, perfect for the modern pop market, she also has something that many of her contemporary’s lack. Her ability to work with timeless subjects – love, longing, loss, fun, regret and, surprisingly at such a tender age, on this latest release, nostalgia – and still find new hooks, new appeal, new ways of delivering such universal and relatable themes, is what makes her songs so great.

She writes about all the things a girl her age should yet does so with the smarts of someone who has double the experience to call on. Lyrics such as “lessons learned, things will burn if you pour alcohol on Old Flames,” feels like it comes from the pen of an established, country crooner rather than a rising grass-roots, indie-popster, but it is that ability to be wise beyond her years that is seeing her leaving the pop pack behind to try to follow in the dust cloud left in her creative wake. 

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