Charlotte OC: Soulful pop with a dark side

Charlotte OC is one of those acts who falls into the “next big thing” category, but after seeing her live Friday night I’m wondering who’s so great out there right now that is forcing us to wait for Charlotte OC’s turn to just be considered “a big thing.” This young English singer needs to be in the spotlight pronto.

Maybe it’s experience. Charlotte was signed and dropped by a major label in her teenage years. But it’s mostly raw talent. Hearing it live, I couldn’t find a fault in her voice, which brings to mind Stevie Nicks, and though her recorded catalog currently only consists of a pair of EPs, they’re packed with sparkling nightime tunes that should be blasting in trendy hotel lobbies and dimly lit cocktail bars right now. It’s soulful, pitch-perfect pop with a dark side that should be as pleasing to fans of Sia or Banks as it is fans of Alicia Keys or Christina Aguilera. It doesn’t hurt that she sells it on stage too performing, raising her hand as she closes her eyes and reaches for those soaring siren highs.

She drew a crowd that halfway filled up the small-ish Latitude 30, a spectacularly lit little box of a venue that hosts the British Music Embassy — an annual SXSW pop-up that hosts an A-list of up-and-comers from across the pond.

Charlotte OC plays another showcase Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Main II, the old Emo’s at Red River and Sixth Street.

Author: Eric Pulsifer

Austinite and lover of new music, dinosaur doodles, good beer and breakfast foods. Blogs at TuesdayNewsday.com. Tweets at @SupercoolEric.

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