If the tremendously talented Banks made grandiose dance pop songs, they would sound an awful lot like the music of Charlotte OC, who has a similar flair for haunting melodies and insightful lyrics. “If my house was burning / Would you run or stay?” she asks during the lead track “If My House Was Burning,” which will either have you bouncing around, dancing with fervor, or render you perfectly still, following the lyrics closely. It especially reminds me of Florence + The Machine’s danceable tracks like “Dog Days Are Over” and “Shake It Out.” And it should come as no surprise that it’s killer: production was handled by Rich Cooper (Banks, Friends), Paul O’Duffy (Amy Winehouse) and Tim Anderson (Solange, Sia).
Charlotte received heaps of praise upon the release of her previous EP, Strange, with the song “Hangover” being added to BBC Radio 1’s prestigious Introducing Playlist, which is not easy to get on; it’s reserved for the best of the best new artists. Due to the popularity of “Hangover,” she found herself performing at Gucci’s Frieze Art Fair London, which took place at the Italian Embassy. More recently, Charlotte toured Australia for the first time as support for Temper Trap at sell out shows. She additionally performed at Sydney’s Field Day Festival, which also featured talented cats like Alt J, Danny Brown and SBTRKT.
The first B-side on the Burning EP is a song produced by the above-mentioned Rich Cooper called “On & On.” It is a sultry number featuring mature lyrics and serious beats along with gorgeous piano and Charlotte’s mesmerizing and emotive vocals. “Blood rush, lighten me up / Your skin, fire / Now smoke is filling my lungs / My heart is tired,” she sings with pain in her voice, like she’s tearing up as she sings it. It continues, “But we wait / Keep on telling ourselves / To keep on pushing when it hurts like hell / And it hurts like hell.” It’s highly potent stuff, like Lorde on steroids.
The remaining two tracks are remixes of “If My House Was Burning.” Up first is the “Harrison Remix,” which blends sonorous EDM-style beats with funky bass and ’80’s style synth. The vocal samples are chopped up, stuttered and sexed up, making the song come across like a big come on. Ultimately, it’s a little boring if I’m being entirely honest. But the Folded Like Fabric remix leads with the vocals before the punched up beats kick in. Although said beats aren’t quite 2 Step, they do remind me of MJ Cole tracks from the ’90’s. To that end, the tone of the beats here, and the way they interact with the vocals, also reminds me of Eric Kupper remixes from the ’90’s. It’s like one of MJ Cole’s original songs as remixed by Cooper with Charlotte’s vocals added to the mix. Quite lovely, really.