Near the end of our convo, Chloe Charles tells me she wants everyone to feel like shit. But she also wants them to cry and then feel happy afterwards. “I want them to go on an emotional rollercoaster,” the Toronto-born, internationally raised singer/songwriter/guitarist says. She’s talking about her sophomore album With Blindfolds On, an orchestral pop opus with elements of soul, jazz, rock, and about every other genre you can think of. “[My music] is just crazy shit that comes out of my brain,” she says, adding, “I love strings.” Charles’ rookie years were spent in Europe, playing clubs and jazz festivals in Germany and France, where her eclecticism was more welcome. “I think it’s important for artists to get out of Canada,” Charles says, “North America has a specific style that they want to hear. For example, in France, my music was pop. Here it was too jazzy.”
The daughter of a nightclub owner father and a more reserved, “bookworm” mother, Charles’ childhood was spent abroad, travelling with her father Noel and rubbing elbows with the world’s glitterati. “I felt isolated. You’re always on and have to look perfect,” she reminisces. Noel Charles passed away in 2013, with “five other family members” following shortly after, according to Chloe. “You start looking at life differently. I’d never lost anyone up to that point so my outlook may have been a little more… It makes you question a lot of things as well, trying to see the positive when you all you feel like is a pile of crap.” Charles took those feelings and approachedWith Blindfolds On–her first self-produced album–with a focus on big emotion, big arrangements, and no compromise on her end. Stream With Blindfolds On here, and read on for the rest of our interview with Charles (Read More).