Rising indie starlet and staple pop sad-girl Charli Adams has landed with her debut record ‘Bullseye’, an album that utilises minimalistic instrumentals to centralise all focus on the brutally raw and highly personal narrative delivered with a confident, growing voice.
Charli deliberately pushes her own introspective boundaries here, challenging everything she once knew and took as gospel - quite literally in some cases. Working hard to develop a mature sense of love for others but more so herself, the LP solidifies the journey of self-growth within her art and the intimate production brings you right into that mind-set alongside her.
A naturally flowing mix of sombre acoustics and modern pop beats drive the momentum forward, ebbing and flowing through the 11 tracks like a composed river in which Adams doesn’t drown but soothingly floats, while newly accepted and understood sorrows swirl around her.
Despite a generally placid tone, a thematic fire does find its moments to rage through. Sparkling pop track ‘Get High With My Friends’ flexes a charming rebellious facet of the musician, and these glittering elements return on the nostalgia-bathed ‘Remember Cloverland’. ‘Headspace’ utilises a smart vocal collaboration to establish a desperate country-esque plea for an escape, and this tension is fully realised on the titular closing track when ballad elements rile up into a melancholic indie-rock thrasher, with a chorus that barely contains this emotive explosion.
As Charlie herself states, this final song is an embodiment of “the realization that throughout the hardest times, I was the one holding myself together and my own strength was the real constant.” This brave, unrestrained version of her persona cements new focus in this loud conclusion that establishes a new perspective to move forward with.
‘Bullseye’ is a strikingly effective balance between genuine, dejected commentary and a biting indie-pop energy – it’s an album that tries on rose-tinted glasses, acknowledges their misguided impact on perception and finally throws them away, moving forward with tranquil joy and drive. It is both deeply observational and cathartic; yes, in a sombre sonic sense, but also with deeply introspective lyrical content that also addresses outward issues with a level of wise contemplation that we should be starting to expect from Charli Adams.
Words: Finlay Holden
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