Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO is he?
Charlie Cunningham is a singer-songwriter originally from Bedfordshire, currently based in London, via Oxford and Spain, renowned for his percussive guitar sound. After 3 EPs Cunningham releases his debut album Lines on Dumont Dumont on January 27th.
WHAT is he singing about in his debut album?
The first track written for the album, An Opening, “was intended to be a trial track to see if we’d – (producer) Duncan Tootill and I – ended up working together” says Cunningham. “After this Duncan went on to do the whole album. It’s a subtle progression in style from my EPs, but also the most electronic my music has been to date. I feel like it really sets the tone for the rest of the record.”
Track 6 on the album Minimum “went through more changes and versions than any song I have ever recorded. It’s a direct song, which is something I think I am always striving towards.”
Track 11 You Sigh “almost didn’t make the record. It was relatively spontaneous to write so I think at first I felt it was kind of throwaway and initially dismissed it. I reckon I was put off by how easily it came together! But I grew to really like the melody, character and general simplicity of it. The song is about not being too hard on yourself, so I’m glad I took my own advice on that one.”
WHERE does the title Lines come from?
“I always name [a release] after a song, that’s what I’ve done on my EPs, and that one just really stuck out for me, for one reason or another. The word ‘line’ in various contexts just kept coming up, and then I took this photo that I ended up using for the cover. I saw these lovely natural lines that were created on the side of this image, and I used that image because it was really spacious and calm, and I thought that really reflected some of the music. So it just seemed to be the one, and plus I didn’t want to obsess over that kind of stuff, you know what I mean? If you like it instinctively then it’s probably worth going with it.” – Charlie explains to Bitter Sweet Symphonies (read the full interview here).
WHY should I listen to him?
His rhythmic and percussive guitar style, that comes from refining his playing in Seville, makes you forget it is just one man and his instrument. His songwriting is honest and confidential. About it Cunningham says that “the whole ability to write songs is probably in a lot more people than they think. A lot of people can probably do it; it’s just hard knowing how to start. I think what slowed me down was just over-thinking every possible thing. So now I know that if something feels right to just trust that.”
WHEN can I see him live?
Charlie Cunningham heads out on a headline UK and European tour in February. All dates and tickets here.