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Spotlight: Charlotte Leigh - A Voice Demanding To Be Heard

Moments… Those special moments where you hear a piece of music and the world stops moving… Everything fades to the background and ceases to exist as you listen to a magical voice, note, song, album, etc. The first time and every freaking time since when I hear this magical voice that is what happens. Natalie Christine demonstrated a similar kind of awesomeness with her first releases back in 2018 (who you also need to check out immediately). Both of these artists came into my world the same way- via a Facebook sponsored ad post. I have learned over time to roll the dice on the music ones to see what I think, and it is rare for me to be blown away by any of them. Charlotte Leigh has a magical voice that simply transfixes me when she sings. She does not have an EP or album available at this time, but she has released a number of singles that I HIGHLY recommend. Best of all, she plans to release a new single every month this year.

Due to them all being singles, I am going to just address them in alphabetical order since that is the way they play in iTunes. I cannot place Leigh into one specific genre as she incorporates different ones into her songs with elements of Pop, Soul, Blues, Rock, and hints of Jazz. ‘Blindsided’ reminds me a bit of that magic the Black Crowes put into ‘Seeing Things’ from their debut or the mellow moments that the Mother Station had on their record back in the 90’s. Leigh sings with such incredible emotion, heart, and soul that it is like she is reaching into your heart and brain simultaneously. The inflections in her voice are simply perfect and the transition into the chorus defies words which makes writing a review difficult. This song would be at home on an old Otis Redding album as well. ‘Deep Water’ feels a little more modern, and Leigh again performs a perfect vocal that exhibits emotional weakness when needed and strength when that is needed. This is one of the songs that really remind me of what Natalie Christine did on her debut EP ‘Broken From The Start.’ The song has a slow build to it, and the hairs on my arm raises with each note. Up next is a cover of the Coldplay song ‘Fix You’ which I know through someone special to me and probably the only Coldplay song I have ever heard. This version is simply flawless in its delivery.

Two versions of ‘Give In To Me’ are available, and both are recommended. Leigh sings over some smooth backing vocals to start the studio version before an electronic beat starts. The focus point here is Leigh though as I could listen to this vocal without any music around it, and it would still be just as magical. The live in the studio version breaks the song down to an acoustic version, and, as I said earlier, it just feels like Leigh has reached into your chest and grabbed your heart. It’s not enough to describe it as an emotional punch that you feel; it resonates inside your soul and the fiber of your being. ‘Glimpse Of Heaven’ was the song in the FB sponsored post that grabbed my attention with its rhythm and blues approach immediately connecting with me musically and then when Leigh starts singing that first verse it is pure perfection. The horns here provide a new flavor to her music, and I love the bass line that runs through this song.

Her latest single ‘If Sorry Won’t Cut It’ features just Leigh and piano. There is a slight jazzy Broadway feel to the song. The emotional rawness bleeds throughout the song and raises the hairs on my arms all over again. ‘Just Be’ picks up the tempo and feels like the musical equivalent of a warm sunrise rising over the ridge with the smell of fresh cut grass in the air. The electronic beat underneath provides an awesome musical base where Leigh’s voice shines. Last song ‘This Feeling’ reminds me that we do not have nearly enough Charlotte Leigh in our lives yet which makes the news of a new single every month as exciting to me as when Ginger Wildheart started his GASS project several years ago. Getting back to ‘This Feeling,’ our musical journey ends with a slow sultry bluesy burner that delivers another slice of musical gold. The subtle guitar licks add some extra power to the song. Leigh has a talent to make it feel like she is singing specifically to each individual listener.

Charlotte Leigh quite simply has already established herself with me as a favorite artist within the span of a month. These first songs that she has released over the past couple years are incredible, and I will add that there is another song called ‘Rather Than Stay’ that you can find on YouTube that is also essential listening. This year has already given me my likely Album of the Year (Soraia) and EP of the Year (Quinn the Brain), and it looks like Leigh is going to provide a new single of the year each month based on what she has done so far. Be sure to check out these songs and fall in love with your new favorite artist.

Written by Gerald Stansbury

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