The up and coming pop and R&B sensation CHAR, full name Char Brockman, arrived at the music scene with a bang. From the moment she sold out while headlining the Camden Assembly right after the release of her third single, Walk Without Fear, the young and bold has been showing that there’s a reason why she’s making waves and creating crowds.
Her music, mature and sophisticated, is a canvas ready for any theme to be talked about. From her feelings and life experiences to themes that strongly resonate with her, such as mental health, founder of the non-profit organisation Mad Millennials, CHAR, is a prime example of the priority the newer generations are putting into psychological well-being and large-scale issues that have been plaguing society for a while.
Her first EP, Simpler Times, is a compilation of two new songs — those being the lead single and following track) and two previous releases, namely Same Again (2020) and Control (2019). The EP was produced by Wagga Man and mixed and mastered by Jarrad Hearman.
In the three (soon to be four) years CHAR has been releasing music, she’s learnt more about how to express herself and create a sound that’s impossible to replicate a hundred percent. Simpler Times as an EP is the encapsulation of CHAR — who she’s been and who she is now, and the intersection at which these two versions of herself meet.
The soulful-pop EP contains four songs that greatly differ from each other while still sharing something intangible in common, that being CHAR’s emotions and passion for her work. With each song, there is a different topic being discussed and a completely different approach than the previous or following track.
Simpler Times, the first song and that which shares the name of the EP, is a slow-paced soul track. Full of self-reflection, reminiscence, and inner resilience, the song touches upon our relationship with the past, the oh so beloved nostalgia, and the necessity to keep going in the present. Surrounded by emotive ad-libs and a jazzy ambience, Simpler Times is a song that lulls you into a state of comfort and relaxation.
It is a soft contrast to Got Me Feeling, the other new song and following track on the tracklist, in the way they are both undeniably soul-influenced R&B tracks, yet they hold different energies. Got Me Feeling, despite being another mostly-slow song, contains a passion and desire not felt in the melancholy of the firsttrack. This song is instead one that yearns for the future: for the idea of being with someone who makes you feel on fire. The same saxophone breakdown that felt relaxing minutes ago has now taken a seductive turn, containing an edge it didn’t previously include.
Same Again (my personal favorite) and Control, although older tracks in comparison to the first two, do not feel out of place when put next to the first half of the EP. They show the beginnings of CHAR, and they have held up marvellously against the harsh test of time. In them, old listeners will be able to remember the good old days while new listeners will find the same tenacity and style that greeted them at the beginning of Simpler Times (EP).
“Though,” as CHAR once said, “we know the meaning of ‘simple’ is relative and perhaps paradoxical in itself because whilst things may have been easier in retrospect,” — that does not mean they felt the same way when they were the present. When we’re going through that moment, things might feel like they could be the end of the world, regardless of how simple they later seem to be.
In Simpler Times CHAR explores this exact concept, simultaneously showcasing the complexity and simplicity of the past, present, and future; of goals, feelings, and memories and how in the end, they will all one day become part of the “simpler times” we will think back on.
If you enjoyed CHAR’s music and would like to stay updated, be sure to check out and follow her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. To listen to her music, you can head over to her Spotify profile, Soundcloud, and Youtube channel.
You can also support the artist by streaming and sharing her music, which can be found in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Female Rising Stars, and 12 New Songs This Week.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you should subscribe to Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists we’ve talked about!