Reviewed: Pearl Charles - "All the Boys"

originally published on

Echoing all the veins of pop-rock that call to mind iconoclasts like Fleetwood Mac and their contemporary counterparts in Jenny Lewis and The Preatures, within the first thirty seconds of her new single, "All the Boys," singer/songwriter Pearl Charles immediately establishes herself as a whirlwind of boldly spirited originality. With a voice that cuts cooly through her shimmering melodies, Charles' dreaminess leaves you helplessly entranced in a dizzy allure while percussion gallops and hot guitar licks add sharp bursts of color to her jangle-filled rock world. Comparisons abound in the song's guitar-driven warbles and riffs and the bouncy elasticity of its rhythms (at the risk of beating a dead horse, Mac's "Everywhere" comes to mind melodically and lyrically), yet there's an astute freshness with which Charles juggles the song's dreamy, sleek-pop sexiness and bubbly melancholy that is almost sobering. She leaps and bounds with every silver croon but also remains grounded, caught in a tender heartache that is as self-conscious of the impending tragedy as it is of the sparkling, disco ball of a medley it seems to rally against.

It's not uncommon for artists to draw creatively from eras of music long past but it is rare for one to synthesize that love and fascination with something so ardently authentic. A peek into her previous efforts reveals her running obsession with everything from 60's garage and psychedelia and 70's country rock to 80's soft rock and country disco; influences and tastes that mold songs like "Night Tides" and "Sleepless Dreamer" into the genre-transcendent pieces that they are. If there is one artist you do not miss this year, it needs to be Pearl Charles.