Young, pretty, charming: Charlotte O’Connor

Charlotte O’Connor is young and pretty, and she sings well, too. But it’s only when I stumbled upon her live versions on youtube that I was actually touched by her acoustic folksy/soul music. I even covered her.

I discovered Charlotte O’Connor in the “Retune Your Ears” section of Acoustic Magazine (May 2012 issue). The UK singer-songwriter describes how she tried to find inspiration and song material when she was younger. She “didn’t have anything to write about”, so her solution was simple: “I listened by my sister’s bedroom door to her arguing with her boyfriend, and I used to write it all down!”

Musically, she is inspired by “the soundtrack of her childhood”: James Taylor; plus Freddy Mercury, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, John Martyn, Tina Turner and Talking Heads. She grew up in Blackburn with a half-Malawian/half-Indian mother and an Irish father. On her website, she describes how her parents influenced her. Her Dad played in a band and “has taught me a lot”, while her Mum played her “old soul records she used to love”.

Live versions are beautiful

O’Connor’s live versions of her songs are definitely a treat. I actually prefer them to the album versions which are a bit too polished and light-pop for my taste. So I went hunting for her best live songs on youtube.

Bridges is my favorite song, and the version in Regents Park London is simply beautiful. She sings “So I build a bridge over you. As I let this love sail through… You’ll miss me one day.” Very charming!
“These Arms” sounds very, very similar to “Bridges”, especially in the beginning. I nearly thought I selected the song twice. But “These Arms” is still a beautiful song, and the more I listen to it I’m thinking that I like O’Connor’s quiet songs a lot!

Official video a bit polished

I’m not a fan of videos where a young female singer is put in hot pants and looks like fresh from the make-up studio. There’s more to O’Connor than that. So I prefer her live versions, but have a look yourself.

“Shine On” came out as a single and is on her new album “For Kenny”. In the beginning she sounds a bit like Katie Melua, and some of the melodies do sound a bit too familiar. But the song as a whole is really enjoyable.

O’Connor’s Alton Towers Concert

Watch her full gig at Alton Towers.

  • Interview about how she started music.
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    2 thoughts on “Young, pretty, charming: Charlotte O’Connor

    1. Pingback: Cover of “Bridges” by Charlotte O’Connor « notnicolajames

    2. Pingback: Lyrics to “Bridges” by Charlotte O’Connor « notnicolajames

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