New Audio: Pearl Charles Releases a Pop Confection with a Dark Undertone

Pearl Charles is a rising, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who has been playing music since she was five. When she was 18, she formed the country duo The Driftwood Singers with Christian Lee Hutson, contributing vocals, guitar and autoharp. By the time Charles turned 22, she joined The Blank Tapes, playing drums.

After a handful of years in which she fully immersed herself in the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. she decided it was time to pursue a solo career, and she began writing the material that would eventually comprise 2015’s self-titled debut EP and 2017’s full-length debut — both of which were released through Kanine Records. Building upon a growing profile, Charles toured internationally and nationally as an headliner and as an opener, sharing stages with Best Coast, Sunflower Bean, Mac Demarco, Conor Oberst and others. The Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has also played across the national festival circuit with stops at Austin City Limits, Huichica, and Desert Daze.

Interestingly, Charles’ work can be seen as a sort of chronological progression in which she has played and written 60s garage rock and psych rock — and most recently 70s pop country and AM radio rock. Drawn to catch pop hooks and choruses, the Los Angeles-based artist’s work generally draws on what she has loved about each era’s sound and approach while developing a unique take and voice.

Slated for a January 15, 2020 release through Charles’ long-time label home, Magic Mirror is a reflective album that follows a woman that has lived a full and occasionally messy life, gaining self-reflection and wisdom through the natural progression of love and heartache — and eventually finding new love as a result.

“Imposter,” Magic Mirror‘s second and latest single is a breezy bit of AM radio rock centered around twinkling Rhodes, a blue-eyed soul-inspired horn line, a sinuous bass line, Charles’ gorgeous vocals and an infectious, hook. And while the song may seem like a breezy and sun-dappled, pop confection, the song has a darkness that lurks just below the surface — if you pay close attention.

“On the surface ‘Imposter’ sounds like a sun-soaked day,” Pearl Charles explains, ” but there is a darkness that lurks beneath. An experience reminiscent of Ram Dass‘ first trip in Be Here Now, ‘Imposter’ tells the story of someone wrestling with their larger cosmic identity beyond the human form and deals with the general idea of ‘Imposter Syndrome’, feeling like a fraud despite your qualifications and accomplishments, which many professional women struggle with.”