You know you’re good when FHM feature you and don’t even ask you to take your top off.
Charlotte O’Connor is that special. The gorgeous Blackburn singer/songwriter is gaining a name for herself with her authentic, passionate from the heart music and soulful voice.
Picked up by Quiksilver at the age of sixteen as an ambassador for their brand she has travelled the globe gigging for them, recording and wowing whoever crosses her path.
She has been featured in the Daily Mirror, FHM, the Daily Star and was included on the Red Rose Music “Sound of 2012” list at the turn of the year.
The journey has culminated in the eventual release of debut album For Kenny which was initially scheduled to come out last year. Now though the record named after her childhood imaginary friend “Kenny” is out there.
Since the age of fifteen O’Connor has been writing strong, heartfelt tracks and For Kenny illustrates the array of techniques and skills she has gained as her abilities have grown and her life experience has shaped her music.
On opener “The Rose” there is a pleading passion as she implores “that’ll you never give up the rose” and prays “give me a sense of feeling, give me a flower to hold.”
Sometimes changing from one track to another can feel clunky and forced but this album switches from a love letter to an upbeat more poppy feel seamlessly. “Shout it out” is less ballad more Olly Murs happy pop but with that soulful feel still present.
The spine of the record is that funky, tropical sound. “Take Me Away” and “Treasure Island” both have that upbeat attitude which is resilient and cheerful.
Even in the resentment of “I’m back on my pillow and you’re not there” which ends “Take Me Away” there is a smile, a hope.
Singles “Treasure Island” and “Shine On” are rapidly becoming stand alone favourites and they are a pleasure to have caress your ears.
“Treasure Island” is sun filled and care free whereas “Shine On” is melodic, piano driven and a message that she would “stop the world just to stare at you.” Both different but both magical and striking and endearing.
The whole album is a cluster of stunners from “Brown Eyes” a gorgeous ditty with tweeting birds and airy guitar strumming to the heavier production of drum rolling number “Head Rush” which is complete with “Wo, oh oh’s” and robotic backing vocals.
From the grand gestures of love to the little things “I was listening to the radio, I heard our song and thought you should know” O’Connor covers every nuance of emotion and human relationships without it ever feeling laboured or over thought.
It is difficult to find such an easy listening album which also wrenches at your heart strings, makes you dance and in the case of “Closer” makes whistling seem cool.
Final track “Kenny” relates to the imaginary fellow the album takes its name from. A twinkly, nostalgic look back at all the childhood mishaps Kenny took the blame for. Love, loss, the good times all flood through it like a picture book of memories.
For Kenny is a gorgeous, thirteen songs of regrets, wishes and tales of what could be. Soulful, clever, cutting it showcases perfectly the fantastic talents of Charlotte O’Connor. A must have powerful record which can be smiled to, cried to and more importantly listened to…alot.
You can download the album from iTunes or listen to it for free on Spotify.
Also you can check out our interview with Charlotte.