When the name Charlie Simpson is mentioned, it’s likely that many will immediately think ‘Busted’ through force of habit. Having left the popular trio years ago to embark on a new melodic metal vibe in Fightstar, Charlie has taken a step back once again after reaching a writing block with the band to forge ahead with his new, and surprisingly chill and acoustic, solo project ‘Young Pilgrim’.
The opening track ‘Down Down Down’ produces the lyric “my heart swells to the size of an orchid”, a far cry from that aggressive kick that was expected from Fightstar. It’s with this the great versatility that his real musical capabilities come into the spotlight. Luring the listener in with sleek acoustic guitar, Charlie’s definitive vocals team perfectly in creating a flat out ‘nice’ vibe.
Varying instrumentation throughout – piano, drums, guitar – creates a variety of sounds, but not once does it become overbearing. ‘Thorns’ has a dainty piano backing to Charlie’s baritone voice, which works surprisingly well considering the stark contrast in sound. ‘Cemetery’ has a strong bass line throughout but merges the heavier, by acoustic standards, elements with a delicately executed chorus.
‘Sundown’ flaunts Charlie’s raw vocals against a stripped back, basic acoustic backdrop, creating a lovely, easy-listening song. ‘Riverbanks’, the album’s closing number, chirpily sets off with a piano introduction. Gradually building into a crescendo throughout the entire song, a lasting note fades out to signal the end of Charlie’s triumphant debut solo effort.
Talking about his album, Charlie said he knew he had to write but wasn’t sure how the music would manifest itself. What he, in turn, created is a 12 track album that flaunts his versatility as an artist, exploring a new style that he hadn’t dabbled in before through his official releases. As acoustic albums go, he has captured that easy listening quality alongside his raw vocals and has certified himself a successful solo artist through producing a quality array of tracks. What direction he will take next is yet to be seen, but it’s certainly one to look forward to.
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