Charlotte Dos Santos exists in a lane all her own. As a fiercely independent producer, singer, composer and arranger, she takes full ownership over her art, imbuing it with feather-light vocals one moment and a rumbling piano line the next. Her warm, emotive and jazz-inflected songwriting weaves seamlessly between themes of identity, womanhood and human connection. Since debuting with hugely critically acclaimed 2017 EP Cleo, she’s earned recognition from the likes of The Fader, Pitchfork, Bandcamp and Pigeons & Planes, recorded a coveted COLORS session, been a Newcomer of the Year Norwegian Grammy Award nominee and picked up co-signs from Raphael Saadiq, Outkast’s Big Boi and others.
Music is stitched directly into the fabric of her life. “I have synaesthesia,” she says, smiling, “so when I write, the process is very visceral and visual. I work with a feeling.” That translates into a knack for storytelling which can stun you into silence. And, on Harvest Time, the followup to Cleo, Charlotte shows no signs of letting up. These are songs written with an honesty that can’t be neatly placed into a box. Rather, they beautifully tell a story of rebirth, growth, self-belief and empathy.
Now, she’s channeling that sense of confidence into the songs on Harvest Time. The opening title track, anchored by rich piano lines, layered breathy harmonies and a driving drum pulse, was inspired by “a very turbulent time”. She remembers writing it on January 1, “at apoint in life where I was asking so many questions” –it felt right to tap into enduring chaos to emerge, reborn. “I used the etymology of a phoenix to think about the EP. Something in me died, but I was resurrected –it was a positive thing, a renaissance.” She continues to go her own way. And Harvest Time is a testament to that journey.
Tickets £15 +bf
54 Holywell Lane, London, EC2A PQA