'Grey Will Fade' is a bloody fantastic pop record, full of skewed rock songs with jagged melodies and razor-sharp riffs. The first track to be released was Kim Wilde, a kind-of tribute to the 80s pop legend. It remains a huge fave of mine (I'll be doing a piece on it in the near future). Other singles Summer and Bastardo are also terrific and for a while I found myself preferring Charlotte's solo stuff to Ash - and given Ash's track record for brilliant singles, that's saying something.
Following the recording of Ash's fourth album 'Meltdown', Charlotte left the band. A year later, her second album 'The Deep Blue' came out. It marked a big change in her sound; a more experimental, progressive approach to the music meant there was little in the way of the pop songs or loud guitars of her work with Ash or her debut solo record. It was certainly a more challenging listen, but there was still room for some cracking tunes in the vein of her first album, especially this one:
Third album 'New Worlds' in 2009 saw a return to the new wave pop sound of 'Grey Will Fade' - my fave Straight Lines sounds like XTC; she'd previously covered This Is Pop! for a b-side - but there was a little more sophistication to this record. White, the lead single, showed how Charlotte was maturing as a songwriter. Mind, its accompanying video - in which she bears a passing resemblance to Chrissie Hynde - had her going backwards, quite literally...
That was her last solo album to date, but she hasn't retired. Charlotte has worked with both Bat For Lashes and KT Tunstall as well as starting the rather good electronic project Sylver Tongue. Last year saw her score the soundtrack for the short film 'The Last Man'. A new solo album has been mentioned, though when we'll see anything from that is guesswork at best for now. Hopefully, we'll get something later in the year.
- Grey Will Fade - Ash (b-side of There's A Star)
- This Is Pop! - Charlotte Hatherley (b-side of Siberia)
- Creatures - Sylver Tongue (single)