It wasn’t a straight line that led Chloe Charles to this point in her music career.
Studies in fine arts and psychology were interrupted by years playing music, but as she readies to release her latest album, Break The Balance, Charles said the twists and turns have led her to a great place.
Charles, whose stepbrother is Julian Lennon, is a young singer-songwriter and self-taught guitarist.
In the myriad of media coverage she has received, her voice has drawn comparisons to Joni Mitchell, Feist and Bjork.
All high compliments, Charles said.
“My mom was a huge fan of Joni Mitchell’s album Blue,” she said. “Sometimes I can hear it in my voice.”
But it isn’t vocals or any particular singer Charles counts as an influence on Break The Balance, but rather orchestral arrangements and cinematic scores.
“The music I listen to isn’t ever really singer/song-writer stuff,” she said. “It is usually wordless.”
If anything, Charles said it’s her mother who has been her greatest musical influence.
Not only did her mother consume all manner of music around the home, from Ladysmith Black Mambazo to opera, but she also played classical guitar and wrote songs with her sister.
“It was very rich in harmonies,” Charles said. “And I grew up hearing that at every family occasion... I think that is in me.”
Charles only recently moved to the Trinity Bellwoods area and, having spent the past two years touring extensively, she hasn’t really settled into the neighbourhood yet.
“The last two years have been insanity, I basically toured non-stop,” Charles said.
She spent extensive time touring in Europe, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
Between shows, piece-by-piece, she worked on and completed Break The Balance, which was recorded at studios in Toronto and north of the city, in the U.S. and “all over the place” she said.
There are 14 tracks including a few hidden vignettes and an interlude comprised of older home recordings and warped representations of her older work, she said.
“It is sort of a wink to the past and future,” she said.
The album was made with help from The Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council as well as fans who donated and invested in the album. Charles said she is looking forward to sharing an album so many people have helped make.
The album has already been released outside of Canada, but will have its official Canadian debut Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. at The Revival, 783 College St.
Charles said she is looking forward to playing the Toronto release among family and friends.
“I am very connected here and I love my friends here. They are all amazing,” Charles said. “Toronto has been really nice to me. I have gotten a lot of support, I have gotten a lot of grants.”
Tickets to the record release are $15 advance or $20 at the door.
For more on Charles or to purchase tickets, visit www.chloecharles.com