“Truly promising…” - Drowned in Sound
Charlie Barnes released his debut album More Stately Mansions via Superball Music.
The album’s title is taken from Kurt Vonnegut’s short story of the same name, a story which explores the idea of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. It’s this theme that Charlie has hooked his album around as he explores his own inner workings - his past, present and future and, to be more exact, the kind of person he wants to avoid becoming.
Although this is Charlie Barnes, it’s not a solo project, Charlie Barnes is very much a band in every sense of the word. Musical inspirations range from Edith Piaf to St Vincent to Mew and it’s this rich tapestry of influences that have given More Stately Mansions diverse sound ranging from sweeping melodies and crescendoing vocals (“Sing To God”) to quieter, more introspective moments (“Balloons”, “Ghosts”) and joyous moments of pure alt rock (“Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth”). It’s this explorative sound that sets Charlie apart from the array of bland singer songwriters currently on the scene.
The album was produced by Steve Durose of Oceansize. The band are all massive fans of Oceansize which is prevalent from their precise musicianship and the more cerebral elements of the album.
Drowned in Sound and Prog Magazine have already noted Charlie’s talent and he’s already supported bands like Secret Chiefs 3 and opened for Vessels and The Twilight Sad as a solo artist.
To help promote the album, Charlie was also asked by Leeds based coffee roastery North Star to create his own signature blend. He spent a lot of his early twenties playing solo in coffee houses around the UK and Europe, whilst working part-time making coffee back home in Leeds and it seems to have paid off.
More Stately Mansions is bold and elegant, proving that Charlie Barnes is a strong contender for one of the most exciting new acts of 2015 - a true, rare talent.