Splendour is so close now! Jen caught up with Eva Hendricks from Charly Bliss prior to them heading down here for Splendour and Side Shows. For more tour details click here.
A power-pop explosion of melody and youthful urgency, Brooklyn’s CHARLY BLISS continue the New York migration as they take in some choice Splendour side-shows. Breaking things wide open with 2017’s Guppy (a record labelled by The Onion’s AV Club as “an instant classic”), this sparkling 3-piece are on the verge of releasing their hotly anticipated second record Young Enough and are positioned to go stratospheric in 2019.
Hi Eva, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions.
You guys are heading down to Australia very soon, is this your first tour down here?
Yes!!! It is. We’re so excited! It’s always been our dream to tour in Australia and it’s crazy that it’s finally happening.
I assure you that Aussies will love your music and make sure you have a brilliant time. Is there any parts of Australia that you are keen to see?
Honestly, we are most excited to make new friends and meet lots of new people and eat lots of delicious food! I saw the Mary-Kate and Ashley movie Our Lips Are Sealed when I was little and it lead me to believe that I’m going to like everyone in Australia. We are also really excited to hold koalas and visit the Bondi Icebergs Pool.
I am blown away with the uniqueness of your vocals. I was listening to Cindy Lauper yesterday and remembered how unique her voice was back in the 80’s (yes I am old! J) I feel that your vocals are as unique, has anyone else mentioned this to you?
Wow, thank you so much! That’s a huge compliment. Not many people have compared me to Cyndi Lauper but it’s a total honor! I love her so much!
With your vocals so unique did you always know that you would be a vocalist of some sort?
I always loved to sing. I started doing musical theater when I was 6 and was in several shows a year until I was 18. I also used to sing jingles for commercials, which I really loved to do. I always hoped that I would be able to make a career out of this, but it’s pretty mind-blowing to actually be paying my bills by way of being in a band.
What is the background story of you guys all meeting? A high school or college band?
Sam is my older brother, so I’ve known him since birth. I met Dan when I was 12 through doing musical theater in the town we grew up in, and he introduced me to Spencer, who he knew from summer camp. Once I met Spencer, we pretty quickly started writing music together just before we graduated high school and the band eventually formed around that!
The first song I heard of yours was ‘Ruby’ and it was your vocals that made me look you up. Great song. Still my fav at this time. Although ’Under You’ is super catchy. Is there one song that stands out for you or if not a fav one to play live?
Thank you! I think our favorite song from this album is “Young Enough”. We’re just super proud of that song as a whole, and it feels really special and magical to play live. It’s a different energy than the rest of our set, so it creates a really cool moment at every show where we feel really connected to the audience.
Your second album ‘Young Enough’ has been out for a month now. How happy are you with the way that it has been received by fans and media?
We are so thrilled! We’re really proud of this album and it’s been a total joy to release it and to see people respond to it. The best feeling in the world is looking out into the audience at shows and seeing people sing along or dance or jump or go crazy and that’s been happening every night of this tour, so we feel really lucky. When you work so hard on something it’s really gratifying to see that it also means a lot to your fans.
I admire the way that you have been honest and write songs about being in a past abusive relationship and the loss of confidence that comes with that. I can relate to that. Did writing songs be cathartic for you? I remember how hard it was for me to drum up the courage to follow my passions after being shut down by my ex.
Songwriting is so cathartic for me. For a long time, it was really the only forum in which I felt safe to talk about what had happened to me. I didn’t talk about it much with anyone in my life until the album started to come out, and being forced to be more open about it has been really healthy and helpful for me. I don’t feel ashamed anymore and I don’t feel like it’s a secret that’s eating me alive. Instead, I feel really proud to have made it out alive and intact and to still really like who I am and the person I’ve become since that happened.
Your story of loving your job in a coffee shop is great. Writing songs while putting away the milk. You chose to leave that job and follow your music, was that a hard choice? Was there ever a close moment that Charly Bliss would have been no more?
I absolutely loved working at that coffee shop, some of my best friends still work there. It was a wonderful place to work, which is definitely hard to come by in the service industry, so in that sense it was hard to leave. I also felt that if I stayed I would be relying too heavily on the kindness of my co-workers/friends who would always agree to cover my shifts when I had to tour. As much as I loved it, I think everyone who works there was really proud of me for leaving to follow my dreams! It definitely never jeopardized the band, if anything, their flexibility and willingness to keep me with a consistent paycheck is one of the reasons our band was able to survive and grow!
The new album seems to have a shift in maturity which of course is a natural process as we all age. (well we should!) Had your writing process changed at all in this album that in the past?
I think that releasing Guppy forced us all to have more confidence and to trust ourselves, so from the beginning we came into the process of writing Young Enough feeling really determined to out-write ourselves. That confidence allowed us to try new things, like writing on different instruments (synth instead of guitar) and teaming up to write songs together instead of separately.
You previously stated “I want people to feel strong when they listen to this record.” (Young Enough) Pretty much this sums why I think Charly Bliss is a great band. Music that helps us through tough times and also makes us happy in the good times. Is this why you became an artist and keep on writing the way you do?
Yes, that’s exactly it! I love making music. It’s extremely therapeutic and cathartic for me, but ultimately it’s never more fulfilling than when I see that our music and lyrics have positively affected someone else. Our music makes me feel strong, and I hope it does the same for our fans.
Thanks for the chat. All the best for your tour down here.