Photography: Charlie Cunningham with The Still Tide at Rough Trade 10/2/19
Charlie Cunningham is a Bedfordshire, UK-born, London-based singer/songwriter and trained Spanish classical guitarist, who has received attention in his native England and elsewhere for a pairing thoughtful and earnest lyrics with expansive, ambient and sometimes experimental indie rock. Cunningham can trace the origins of his musical career to his teens, when he picked up the guitar and started playing in a number of hardcore and experimental indie rock bands, largely inspired by Sigur Ros and Mogwai.
After earning an undergraduate degree in music, the Bedfordshire-born, London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist found himself waiting tables to pay the bills — and questioning his own talent and dedication to music. Coincidentally, around this same period of time, Cunningham discovered classical Spanish guitar music and was drawn to the genre’s wide dynamic and emotional range. Selling his beloved Fender Telecaster, Cunningham got the cash to pay for a train ticket to Seville, Spain, where he enrolled in a flamenco school. Initially planning on staying for two months, the Bedfordshire-born, London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist wound up staying in Spain for two years, taking classes, practicing and playing as many shows as humanly possible.
Eventually returning to his native England, Cunningham wound up in Oxford, UK, where he quickly landed gigs in local bars playing traditional Spanish classical music but he also began writing and performing his own original material, in which he accompanied himself on guitar.
2014 saw the release of his debut EP, Outside Things, which quickly established a spectral yet introspective sound. He followed up with several EPs, including 2015’s Breather EP and 2016’s Heights, with both receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1. Building upon a growing profile, the rapidly rising British singer/songwriter’s full-length debut Lines was released to critical praise in 2017.
Interestingly, Cunningham’s highly-anticipated sophomore effort, Permanent Way finds the British singer/songwriter and guitarist expanding upon his sound with the incorporation of electronics within expansive prog rock-like arrangements.
Cunningham played a career-spanning and crowd-pleasing headlining set with his backing band at Rough Trade last month. JOVM’s newest mainstay act The Still Tide opened the night with a solo set. Check out photos from the show below.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve written a bit about Anna Morsett, the Olympia, WA-born, Denver-based singer/songwriter, musician and creative mastermind behind the indie rock act The Still Tide. Her work with The Still Tide has largely been inspired by her experiences growing up in the Pacific Northwest, living in Brooklyn in her 20s and traveling the world as a guitar tech for the likes of critically applauded acts like Kaki King, The Tallest Man on Earth and The Devil Makes Three among others. As a solo artist, she has landed opening spots for Cat Power, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats and Margaret Glaspy. Her latest The Still Tide EP Between Skies is slated for a January 20, 2020 release through Mod y Vi Records and the EP is largely inspired by the duality she regularly experiences as a magnetic front woman and a self-described introspective loner while touching upon love, loss, opportunities won and closed doors of our lives. Interestingly, Morsett’s opening set for Charlie Cunningham was a completely solo set with the Olympia-born, Denver-based singer/songwriter and guitarist accompanying herself on guitar, while playing stripped down renditions of older material and material from her forthcoming EP, including the introspective, The Smiths and The Pretenders-like “Change of Address” the shimmering and yearning “On The Line” and “Keep It.” Morsett will be starting 2020 on the road to support the new EP with a handful of tour dates that includes a January 9, 2019 stop at Rockwood Music Hall. Check out the rest of the tour dates below. Tour Dates 1/9: New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1, 8pm 1/17: Denver, CO @ Hi Dive 1/22: Los Angeles, CA @ Gold Diggers
For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmHD7GaW