To those hoping to hear more from Charlotte Church's mezzo, you need look no further than her newly released EP, Three. In fact you won't have to wait longer than the coda of first track-the stunning Sparrow- to witness the Diva deftly using its operatic weight against a cacophony of dissonant guitars. It's an apt introduction to this collection of seven songs, which are darker in tone and more experimental with the vocals.
The project isn't entirely weighty and serious, and Magician's Assistant offers respite from the intensity, with beautiful strings, a warm ambience and a bouncy middle-eight that the singer rides with rhythmic ease. It's also the most accessible track on the album, so a great place for the more cautious listener to begin.
Though the vocals are truly impressive, it wouldn't be fair to review the project without acknowledging the genius arrangements- they really are something. I Can Dream provides a striking example; building the tension with increased distortion and disharmony- almost to breaking point- before it all falls back to reveal a gorgeous oasis of soothing voices.[Take a listen below] Each track seems to have been composed with equal care and ingenuity that thankfully hasn't been let down by the vocals or lyrics that have been layered upon them.
As a whole, Three is in an indie leaning EP; perhaps the most so of the trio released so far. Built upon layers of jangly guitars, cavernous reverb, and pounding percussion, it's a project that sounds part Jeff Buckley ( particularly House Upon The Sea), part Bon Iver and part Kate Bush- but never derivatively so. Ultimately its sharper focus makes for a cohesive body of work that doesn't suffer from the abrupt changes of pace or style the other Two EPs have at points.
Charlotte Church needs to be commended on her continued brave journey through music. Despite a lack of commercial success, the singer is still pushing boundaries; clearly investing time, money and effort into crafting some of the most exciting and thrilling music being released at the moment. One can only hope that as further EPs are released- reportedly there are two more coming- and Church continues to tour, momentum will grow for the singer and her ambitious project. As it is, it's almost criminal that this body of work is being slept on by a wider audience.
EP:Three is available to buy on Itunes and Amazon.