Charlotte Day Wilson has been around for a while. After a decade in the music industry, the Toronto native, known for a variety of EP’s and has collaborations with with fellow Canadians BADBADNOTGOOD and Daniel Caesar has finally released her debut album, Alpha. It feels almost silly to mention it as a debut, as it is the work of someone who has taken literal years to hone their craft.
“Strangers” opens the album. It’s a meditative, layered track that slowly brings you into Wilson’s world – it feels a little less like a full track and instead like an intro to whet the listener’s palette. Then the acoustic picking of “I Can Only Whisper”, a breezy collaboration with BADBADNOTGOOD. It feels like a nostalgic piece of 70’s easy listening, perfect for sunsets at dawn and bike rides on the boardwalk. She paints in these hues until she doesn’t. Tracks like “Changes” that are built on dissonant woodwinds and distorted vocals that eventually blend with light horns are welcome bits of experimentation, as is the thirty-four second “Danny’s Interlude” where Daniel Caesar drops in to duet with Wilson.
Unsurprisingly, one of the album’s brightest highlights is the “Take Care of You” featuring Syd, a sleek ballad that shows the artists just coming to the surface but never cresting. It’s an exciting piece of forward-thinking R&B set to a slowed down sample. The song eventually devolves into a swirl of whirring synths and vocals before suddenly coming to an end.
Alpha is a truly enjoyable listen from an artist that’s been making great songs for quite a while now. So much of the record is purely enjoyable. It’s the sound of Charlotte Day Wilson right now- an artist so assured in their ability who is writing a chapter in time of her career that is so well defined and formed that any of the eleven songs here are instantly replayable. It’s an album worth your time and several of you listens.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media