Charlotte Hathaway wants to move on. Being an ex Ash guitarist, supporting Bat For Lashes, dating Edgar Wright, it’s all in the past, so much so that she’s no longer to be known as Charlotte Hathaway. She is now Sylver Tongue and she’s adopted a theatrical 80s persona to go with the name. The look is suitably outlandish, the music, unsurprisingly considering how talented this lady is, transcends the 80s synth pop beans she’s grinding for this project and finds something fresh in the blend.
The Sylver Tongue project has been percolating for a while. February this year saw the first live performance followed by a free download, “Hook you up” in May. That track is one of the four to feature on the “Something Big” EP out on November 5th. All four tracks gleam with the polish that comes from hours of studio scrubbing but this isn’t a case of glitter without gold.
There’s real songwriting craft here. The up-tempo title track sets out the stall confidently with clattering percussion that sounds like Depeche Mode having a party in the kitchen. “Here we are in the middle of something big” Ms Tongue sings, and she’s right. There’s ambition in spades here with a truck full of hooks jostling with each other for dominance. Talking of hooks, “Hook you up” slows things down with seductive harmonies and a killer chorus that would been right at home on the Breakfast Club soundtrack. “Creatures” is twitchy and frantic, like Yello in a hurry, Ms Tongue channeling Grace Jones as she sings about being turned inside out. It’s playful, slightly weird, but infuriatingly catchy. Then “Faraway sun” brings a blissed out Cafe-Del-Mar vibe as the party winds down and this killer four track EP comes to an all to premature end.
“Something Big” is just a taster of the album which will hopefully surface next year, and the Sylver Tongue live experience promises post-apocolyptic theatrics with facemasks, fur and leather, like Janelle Monae doing Mad Max. It sounds bonkers but brilliant, just like Charlotte Hathaway.