Tag Archives: cosmic folk

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep10 ~ Pearl Charles

Pearl Charles is quite simply a magician who has mastered the dark arts of creating cosmic country music with her album ‘Magic Mirror‘ with stunning songs such as ‘Only For Tonight‘, ‘Imposter‘ and ‘What I Need‘ she has pioneered new territory in combining the worlds of Americana, slide guitar country and western, soft rock disco, piano ballads, pedal steel harpsichord infused Fleetwood Mac, Abba, Toni Brown and Emmylou Harris.

Pearl Charles surrounds herself with cool doodads which give her inspiration and positivity inside her home in the desert. Dancing Queen was the jumping off point for Pearl’s ‘Only For Tonight‘ Andy is an outlier for the rest of the album as the songs that follow on the album don’t continue the Abba-esque music that’s captured by Pearl Charles on this track. We talk about astral projection alternate realities and what it means to be truly you in the universe that is constantly changing.

‘Only For Tonight’ by Pearl Charles

While Pearl and her band were touring of the ‘Sleepless Dreamer‘ record she was recording and writing the songs for ‘Magic Mirror‘. ‘Sweet Sunshine Wine‘ was released prior to ‘Magic Mirror‘ coming out as a single. The title of the album came to Pearl in a dream and reflected the magic that is Disney’s Snow White. We talk about how the magic mirror showcases the best potential vision of you but also delivers who you are right now at this point of time.

‘Magic Mirror’ by Pearl Charles

The album is fully biographical and captures Pearl’s hopes dreams and aspirations about relationships from breakup to sharing one’s life with a partner. Growing up Pearl was influenced by her father’s music collection which introduced her to Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan.

Pearl Charles from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

As a DJ Pearl likes to mix it up when she is on the dancefloor from disco to country and everything in between. Songs that Pearl has written to change especially if they are continuously on the set list and so they become almost like a alternate brand-new version from the one that was born on the keys of a piano.

‘Sweet Sunshine Wine’ by Pearl Charles

Taking the pandemic in stride Pearl has been able to focus on performing with her band in preparation for when she gets to tour in England and Scotland in February 2022. Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Pearl Charles. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep2 ~ Matthew Fowler

Matthew Fowler’s first album ‘Beginning’ was released when he just turned 19 and he hasn’t looked back since. That’s the record that made his name in music. In this podcast host CloudwatcherUno sits down with Matthew to talk about his journey not only as a musician but as a documentarian, his love for all things Japanese including Godzilla and Akira, why modern movie trailers ruin the movie going experience, Star Wars and his love of Glen Hansard’s music. We get to listen to ‘Blankets’ and ‘Beginners’ from that first album. His next album will be released by Signature Sounds in Massachusetts later this year.

‘Cassie’ (Live in Japan) by Matthew Fowler
Matthew Fowler. This above all: to thine own self be true.
‘Rooftops’ by Matthew Fowler for GemsOnVHS

Matthew started his life as a touring musician with fellow singer and friend Reggie Williams and got see the great American landscape. He’s also collaborated with The Prado Sisters on his first album ‘Beginning’ and have played woodwind instruments on the the upcoming second album. Another passion of Matthew’s is being as a videographer/documentarian and it’s his favourite way to travel filming bands such as ‘Just Neighbors’ on tour in Japan.

‘I Fall Away’ performed by Matthew Fowler and The Prado Sisters.

“PLAYING MUSIC LIVE IS A VERY FULFILLING EXPERIENCE”

Matthew’s music is authentic and you get an immediate reaction that connects you as an audience to something that’s real and fills your head with the music that dreams are made of. It’s like having your life put to music and the soundtrack is one that other travellers can enjoy. Matthew follows in the footsteps of Ryan Adams, Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne and especially Glen Hansard.

Glen’s music has been such an influence on Matthew and how you can be a vulnerable artist working in the top tiers of music but still remain a normal human being who you could drink and hang out with. Having met Glen quite by accident when going to one of his gigs, Matthew is determined that one day he will collaborate or tour with his idol.

Matthew Fowler from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Music is a language that is spoken all over the world and Matthew can speak it fluently. For the future Matthew is excited for the world to open up again so that he can start touring and promoting his sophomore album when it is released.

Matthew Fowler ~ Bringing joy to your listening world.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Matthew Fowler. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep1 ~ Darling West

Darling West are the cosmic folk duo hailing from the land of Norway who have released Spelleman-winning (Norwegian Grammy) album ‘Vinyl and a Heartache’ and such hits as ‘Rolling On’, ‘Traveller’ and ‘The Sweetest Tune’. Host CloudwatcherUno sits down with artists Mari and Tor Egil Kreken to talk about their music, gorgeous lyrics and phenomenal harmonies and melodies. In the podcast Darling West perform live acoustic versions of ‘Rolling On’ and ‘Loneliness’ and there’s also the album version of ‘The Sweetest Tune’ that starts the show.

Mari and Tor Egil Kreken are Darling West.

Darling West started life as folk trio with very dramatic thoughts on how they would be a band and ended up more into cosmic folk territory with electric guitars, drums and the banjo. Tor plays claw hammer style banjo like his Appalachian heroes of the US. Darling West’s sound started out as an interest in old fiddle tune time songs with mountain folk vibe similar to the music from the film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ It was a jumping off point for the band to start their exploration of building and writing their songs.

‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ (2000) Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

The last EP ‘Interpretations’ explores their love of pop tunes through a country landscape. The music on the EP brings them joy and that translates to the listener when they hear the tracks ‘Don’t Start Now’, ‘Pamela’ and ‘Bulletproof’. It’s a way of expanding their audience’s expectations of the band. It was a challenge to find the tenderness within the original lyrics and the almost harsh production style and reimagine with a much softer gentler interpretation.

‘Bulletproof’ from the Darling West’s Interpretations EP _ Video from their Friday Sessions series

Darling West also bring their sound to life by showcasing their music through their Friday Sessions cover videos available on YouTube and Instagram. They bring the joy of their music by collaborating with fellow artists such as Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra. The ‘Friday Sessions’ started out as a response to the duo experiencing the lockdown in Norway and not being able to go out but still wanting to connect with their fans and audience. It’s a lot of work learning a new song every week and then record it flawlessly as a live video to such a high professional standard. Don’t expect the sessions to continue forever though as the duo need to work on releasing their own original music.

‘Gold Dust Woman’ performed by Darling West featuring Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra

One of my favourite songs from the album ‘We’ll Never Know Unless We Try’ is ‘Home’ written by Tor Egil with Mari in their family’s cabin and was a song that just came out so easily and encapsulates the cosmic folk catalogue of Darling West. You can feel the influence of Gillian Welch in the lyrics and it sounds like poetry put to music.

The duo have adapted as well as they can to having to put touring to one side and have now been able to focus on the Friday Sessions, their songcraft and building a nice home for themselves to create an atmosphere conducive to blossoming their creativity. Without the pressure of trying to make a Darling West record has enabled them to explore different genres, sounds and musicality.

Darling West showcasing the best that Nordicana music has to offer to the listening world.

Growing up Tor Egil started off wanting to play football but that obsession was overtaken by learning to play the guitar while listening to his older brothers record collection. In junior high school reading about musicians playing their instruments and touring with their bands, Tor Egil knew this was going to be his life. When Mari and Tor met 15 years ago, Mari didn’t even play an instrument. Mari always enjoyed singing and her father always sang as a way to relax. There was always country music on the radio. After 7 years together Mari also wanted to become a part of the musical community in a real way and bought her first mandolin. It took a lot of practice before Mari felt that she had the sound she wanted from her instrument and could call herself a musician. It was all worth it as the duo have released four albums showing their incredible virtuosity, skill and range in producing stellar music.

Lockdown has brought Darling West the time they need to craft their songs and focus on their sound.

Mari and Tor Egil don’t right formulaic music or middle of the road tunes for them there is no formula that they stick to. They want to keep their music as alive as possible and act as a homage to the Norwegian mountains. Speaking metaphorically if they found themselves in lifeboat having to recue their songs then they would save ‘Darling West’, ‘Vinyl and a Heartache’, ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Rolling On’, and River.

Mari and Tor Egil from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Darling West are at the forefront of the Nordicana music scene and bringing their own twist to the traditional Americana/ Appalachian music that’s been produced and being released. Their music is full of guitar, banjo and pedal steel which envelops the listener transporting them to a mythical country and western world. Going forward the duo want to focus more on their own song writing and they have more time to really record the songs they want in the style and production that showcases their music the best. A new album will arrive and when it does you know it’s going to be fantastic.

Darling West partners in music, life and storytelling.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Darling West. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.