Get this crazy baby off my head!


Charlotte Martin

Charlotte Martin - Dancing On Needles - 2011 - Test-Drive Records

Charlotte Martin has certainly suffered for her music, and the resulting album, Dancing on Needles, is a masterpiece because of it. The Los Angeles singer-songwriter overcame a nerve disorder called intercostal neuralgia developed after supporting the weight of her baby son Ronen. Incapacitated for much of a year, Charlotte poured every bit of that harrowing experience into her new music, and she crafted a piano-driven journey that's simultaneously poetic, poignant, and powerful. Delivering each note with palpable emotion, it's impossible not to feel Charlotte as she explores the dreamy darkness of "Volcano" or gives a lilting send-off on "Weird Goodbye." Produced by her husband alternative icon Ken Andrews [Beck, Pete Yorn], Dancing On Needles is a delicate and elegant triumph of the human heart. It's also bound to be remembered as one of the most special albums of 2011 when it drops on February 1st. - from "Charlotte Martin Talks "Dancing On Needles," Overcoming Pain and More" Thu, 30 Dec 2010 10:31:29 © 1997 - 2012 Rogue Digital, LLC. All Rights Reserved http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/charlotte-martin-talks-dancing-on-needles-overcoming-pain-and-more/8441982 Read a full interview with Charlotte at that url

It’s safe to say that Charlotte Martin’s latest album Dancing On Needles wasn’t an easy record to make. In the past year, Charlotte endured what was perhaps the most traumatic time of her life when she was diagnosed with a nerve disorder that prohibited her from playing piano to even holding her young son. But with help and support from those around her, Charlotte bounced back victoriously. In March 2011, she gave birth to her second child, and just a month before she became a mother again, Dancing on Needles dropped along with a brand-new official fan club. Inspired by the events of the last year, Charlotte’s latest musical offerings to listeners is a painstakingly revealing collection of her infliction and the natural responses conjured from such torment. The first track “Any Minute Now” is Charlotte’s confession, slightly informing listeners of what’s to come, raising her voice slowly as if her story is bubbling to the surface. Her account finally makes its grand entrance in the dreamy “Volcano”, which happens to be the first single from the album. From first listen, the childlike keyboard melody evokes a sense of innocence as if Charlotte was unaware of the extent of the tough road ahead. But paying close attention to the lyrics confirms that the artist was already struggling with the extremities of her condition. The album does an outstanding job as far as track order is concerned, providing a see-sawing mix of electronica-woven songs and piano ballads. Not only that, the tracklist plays perfectly like a novel with its main character descending into darkness before finally reaching the light again. With that said, Charlotte drops to a rather melancholy state halfway through the album. “Life Vest” is perhaps the most emotive song on the record, depicting her personal struggles and her despair as she holds tightly on to what matters most. “Great ideas/God, I had great ideas”, she sings sadly. “Complications” follows suit on this vibe but in a more apologetic manner. The studio version of “Tremble” picks up the pace after “Life Vest” featuring a great combination of accompanied instruments that adds a lot of pizzazz, but an earlier acoustic version can be found on YouTube featuring only Charlotte and her piano. The simplicity works just as well. Dancing On Needles truly radiates during its more theatrical tracks. “Ready For a Flight” bounces back and forth between Charlotte’s soft vocal repose and fierce growling. If there’s anything negative to say about “Ready For a Flight”, it’s that the song isn’t as long as I would like it to be. The title track, despite its obvious lyricism chronicling her physical pain, reaches a rather spirited (and dare I say danceable) high by the end, proving that beauty can be created from unhappy circumstances. The second to last track, “Language of God”, could be the twin to “Dancing On Needles” – the otherworldly production is reminiscent of Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins, and Charlotte’s free-spirited choral chanting creates an awesome and positive epicenter for the entire disc. The closing song, entitled “Weird Goodbye”, plays like a summarization of the other (eleven) tracks. Despite her trials, Martin still manages to hold her head high as she repeats “It won’t get me down.” Dancing On Needles is the tale of a woman constrained and her journey to break free from all the hurting, whether it be physical or emotional. As a CharMar fan, I’m thankful that she has crossed the finish line, sharing her personal accounts so honestly and creatively, emerging with her finest work to date. By & © Miss Coolsville April 13, 2011 http://coolsville.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/album-review-charlotte-martin-dancing-on-needles/

Some artists just seem to never make a poor album and one of those is Charlotte Martin. From leaping from piano based melodies to synth rock anthems from her previous albums, Martin’s latest “Dancing on Needles” carefully merges the organic with the synthetic and makes one hell of a rocking album seeping emotion from start to finish. Opening with “Any Minute Now” Charlotte’s piano and vocal delivery are harsh and bold in this ever twisting tense and taut track. The ever present rumblings of low pianos are joined by guitars and pounding drums as Charlotte’s vocal layering pushes to the fore in a great opener. Single “Volcano” swaps sides from organic rock to heavily processed drum samples and etheral electric pianos yet the underlining current is one of pain, grit and detirmination. Even through its spacious angelic chorus (with a fantastic riff may I add) nothing ever feels settled and its this pinprick edge that carries the album and elevates it further. “Truth Cerium” returns to the band sound with a strong pounding track showcasing Martin’s penchant for sticking an slightly detuned chord in her riffs that give a certain rush to the brain. It’s great to see this side of Martin’s music because it shows she’s a master of all different genres of music and I can see this being a great live track. Title track “Dancing on Needles” has a fantastic funky bassline while the backbeat thumps away like a ticking clock while all kinds of atmospherics swirl around – this is the album footstomper arm waver anthem as it continues to evolve and build. This leads effeortlessly into “Animal” which is an absolutely stunning track. Full of drama, intrigue and an epic chorus – the verses chart their course the crawl inside your veins and then coupled with Charlotte’s quivering vocals, the choruses just steal your pulse away. The album hits a quieter period which starts off with the devastingly beautiful “Life Vest” which is the first piano/vocal led track. Charlotte’s high singing register against the piano easily brings you to tears of emotion in what is a heart wrenching performance. You can hear every nuance and second of pain in her every word. “Tremble” is not so much quiet all the way through but its as equally emotive as instrument upon instrument is slowly added into the mix until we reach the final hurrah where the electric guitars, pianos and vocals all whail together with a marching drum beat pulsing through your body and its almost like hitting a state of euphoria. The songs construction is fantastic and is a perfect juxtaposition to the solo version available on youtube. “Starlight” has a beautiful synth piano sound much like someone has crossbred a steel pan and an electric piano. This electro-rock ballad is beautiful for its constantly flowing with different raising chords that feel slightly eastern but quite gritty too. It’s quite a unique sound and stands out because of it. “Ready for a Flight” is a dark track with a full on growling chorus which comes across like a gigantic stand off in a bull arena with stimping drums and grizzly bass backing her up as the dischordant piano rumbles behind them all. The most abstract song on the album is the most hair raising. “Complications” is another lighter waver rock ballad and its here where the electronic and acoustic collide 50/50 and combined with excellent songwriting the merger of most of Martin’s backcatalogue is sewn together seemlessly. If this song doesn’t becomes a romance movie ballad then a crime has been made against humanity. “Language of God” is the big rocking finale on the album with pounding toms and all kinds of fun synths bursting out in the middle. Throughout the album the vocal layers are core but here they also form part of the background hum of music – almost like a background chant. The middle eight is like an electro-Eden. The album closes with “Weird Goodbye” which is an emotional piano/vocal track that doesn’t just tug on the heart strings, it rips them out and jumps up and down on them and is classic early Char Mar. “Dancing on Needles” is mindblowingly fantastic. From the opening note to the closing whimper you can feel every emotion, every word and every teardrop of pain and there’s nothing quite like it. Easily the first must have album of 2011 and early contender for album of the year. It’ll leave you breathless. © http://higherplainmusic.com/2011/01/13/charlotte-martin-dancing-on-needles-review/JANUARY 13, 2011

Buy Charlotte's "Stromata" album. Also check out Thea Gilmore's great "Murphy's Heart" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 114 Mb]


1 Any Minute Now 2:53
2 Volcano 3:57
3 Truth Cerium 3:26
4 Dancing On Needles 4:28
5 Animal 4:39
6 Life Vest 4:10
7 Tremble 5:22
8 Starlight 4:02
9 Ready For A Flight 3:15
10 Complications 3:59
11 Language Of God 4:58
12 Weird Goodbye 4:43

All songs composed by Charlotte Martin except "Complications" by Charlotte Martin & Tommy Walter


Charlotte Martin - Piano, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Vocals, Backing Vocals
Ken Andrews - Guitar, Bass Guitar, Programmer for Keyboards, Orchestra & Horns, Backing Vocals
Justin Meldal-Johnsen - Bass Guitar
Fernando Sanchez - Drums
Tommy Walter - Additional Vocals on "Complications"


Creamy, bittersweet, hypnotic, intimate—such is the sound of DANCING ON NEEDLES, the stunning new album from critically acclaimed indie singer-songwriter CHARLOTTE MARTIN. Produced by Ken Andrews (Pete Yorn, Beck), the rapturous album traces Martin's heartbreaking struggle with intercostal neuralgia, a nerve disorder that left her incapacitated for much of the past year. “It was the most difficult period of my life,” says Martin. “The pain was excruciating. I saw countless doctors, was misdiagnosed countless times and prescribed countless medications. Nothing seemed to help. Forget about not being able to work; getting out of bed was a major undertaking. Worst of all, I couldn’t nurse, or even lift, my baby. As a new mother, that was devastating.” Unable to stand or sit at the piano for extended periods of time, Martin was forced to write and record the album in pieces over the course of a year. Despite the arduous process, she managed to craft a beautifully warm album of faith, hope and love. Released on Martin's own Test-Drive Records, DANCING ON NEEDLES feels like entries from a journal, with Martin staring down the darkness to come out the other side. Musically, each track is wrapped in gorgeous, swirling melodies and soft, dreamy textures. And of all the gentle pleasures that unfold within the album’s grooves, the most remarkable are the perpetually enraptured vocals of Martin, an emotive singer whose ethereal voice alternately conveys feelings of love and fear, yearning and regret, and hope and longing. She shines on songs like “Volcano,” “Truth Cerium,” and “Starlight.” The initial stages of Martin’s affliction can be traced back to the fall of 2009. At the time, she was between albums—since her third full-length, Stromata (2006), she had released a covers album, Reproductions (2007), and a collection of B-sides, Orphans (2008)—and just getting back into the groove of recording and performing since the birth of her son in 2008. Motherhood had caused something of an identity crisis for Charlotte, as she struggled to find the artist in the mother she had become. And she wondered if she could, in fact, be both. While balancing family and work, Charlotte put her songwriting talent to work for others, including Tiesto, BT and Crystal Method, among others. As 2008 came to a close, she started working on her own music again and logged a small tour with her son in tow; she also began experiencing sporadic numbness in parts of her body. By fall 2009, Charlotte was in constant pain. Adding to the hurt was the fact that Charlotte and her husband wanted to have another baby, but couldn't because of her rapidly declining health. Thus began a harrowing year of doctor visits; second, third, and fourth opinions; misdiagnoses; and failed treatments. At the same time, Charlotte also learned that her father was suffering from heart failure, with grim prospects for the future. As close as any daughter can be to her parents, Charlotte was devastated. With stress bearing down on her from all sides, she turned to music for salvation. Charlotte picked up work on the album; though still struggling physically, she could write only in short spurts. As a result, she leaned heavily on her husband, producer Ken Andrews, who built out the tracks from Charlotte’s rough piano and vocal sketches, adding all additional instrumentation and production. The final product is classic Charlotte Martin—lush, densely textured piano-based tracks with alternately soaring and delicate vocals. Her health improving every day, Martin is looking forward to touring, though she admits that the new material is emotionally difficult to perform. For the few shows that she will play in support of DANCING ON NEEDLES, she hopes that the support of her fans will get her through—as well as the support of her father, who has fortunately (if not miraculously) made a full recovery. Charlotte is grateful to be alive and finds comfort in her family, which (also miraculously) is soon to expand: she's pregnant with a baby girl due this spring. Over the course of her career, Martin has recorded both major label and independent releases, performed sold-out shows to audiences around the world and shared stages with the likes of Liz Phair, Pete Yorn, Damien Rice, Jason Mraz, and many others. Her music has been licensed for a plethora of television shows, including “So You Think You Can Dance,” which regularly features her song “The Dance” during the show’s open. Details magazine called her “a seductive performer” and “a skilled lyricist who writes with surgical precision” and Performing Songwriter praised Martin as “a born storyteller and affecting vocalist.” © 2011 CHARLOTTE MARTIN. all rights reserved. http://charlottemartin.com/don/bio.html


A.O.O.F.C said...

Click album cover on main blog.

Password is aoofc

Tom said...

Great, great album. Thanks for letting me listen to Charlotte Martin.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Tom. It's a pretty good album. Glad you liked her music. Thanks....Paul