Last Friday, I attended my first ever protest march when I joined thousands of Chileans on a #FridaysForFuture protest in Santiago demanding action on climate change. And it just so happens that the issues raised by this movement – and several others like it – are providing answers to the issues that inspired Austria-based band Charlywood‘s latest single.
As British frontman Andrew Charlewood states: “For the first time, it is not my biggest hope that people like the video to this song. I would prefer that it makes them angry, because there is so much going on in the world that should. There are already more than enough entertaining distractions. The fact is that we are all part of a system that is manipulating and exploiting us while destroying the planet we live in and a lot of people don’t seem aware of that.”
Said single, Television Glamour, opens up with a disjointed, jaunty guitar riff then equally funky vocals in a lively verse of “Swear you gotta start doing something, The evidence oughtta do, Tear yourself apart for some judgment, I got a bleeding heart cause I’m better than you, I know what you’re becoming, I saw what you do, Can’t believe we’re all still discussing, I told you from the start what a television glamour can do.” The instrumentals drop a little lower for a mini chorus of “To someone who’s risking nothing, You know that it’s you, So can you relate?”
The second verse sees cool synth sounds jump in, with the following chorus extending with the additional vocals “So give up your comfort crutch if that’s what’s putting you through, Could you be assisting something? You know that it’s you, But can you relate?” A cool little bass solo comes in, and it gradually builds up to a rockier rendition of the chorus with more intense vocals over heavier bursts of guitar and big synth sounds.
As Andrew adds, the song is: “A call to action aimed at myself as much as everyone else, but also a call for connection because I needed to feel like I am not alone in feeling this way.” And, based on what I saw in Santiago last week, he’s certainly not alone. Give the track a listen below:
We had a chat with Andrew to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Charlywood?
AC: “Charlywood consists of myself and three band members (have a look at us on charlywood.com). I am from the UK and the others are from Austria and Germany (Bavaria to be precise). I wanted to start performing my songs live and put up ads looking for members and that is how it all came together back in 2010. Subsequent members were all people who know people in the Vienna music scene. No romantic fate stuff, just me putting in the hours.”
GR: You just released Television Glamour. What should people be expecting from the song?
AC: “This is a song full of urgency and I wrote in great detail about all my motivations for writing it on our Bandcamp page.”
GR: How would you describe the Charlywood sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
AC: “Melody is always king, followed by groove, riffs and then fancy stuff if we get bored. We are a guitar-based band but Television Glamour saw us experimenting heavily with new production ideas, as you can hear. Actually we are not at all married to a genre but I am a little old fashioned in that I think melody should drive a song so that is the thread that holds all our music together I guess.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
AC: “In my opinion, music is always about expressing some form of truth about the human experience through sound. I look for whatever I feel like I can make real enough to perform authentically and then base the song around that. If I didn’t experience it or I can’t strongly relate to it I won’t sing about it but other than that everything is possible.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
AC: “I love Darwin Deez, I wanted to sing like Adam Duritz from Counting Crows when I was a teen and I am a huge fan of country harmonies in general. I like the honesty at the heart of old school country music but, as a Brit, I can’t really authentically make it myself. I am so involved with making music for and with others these days that I don’t actually listen to much music at the moment though!”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019?
AC: “We shall be playing all the gigs we can book so people can sign up here to be informed if we play live near them.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
AC: “We are totally independent so if you like what we do please consider becoming a patron to support our work on our Bandcamp page. If we have supporters that appreciate us then we get the freedom to make the music we think is worthy, rather than being forced to do something safe and commercial to pay the bills!”