Rivoli, Toronto, ON, March 13
The Toronto-born, Edmonton-raised soul vocalist and former back-up singer for Zaki Ibrahim and Bedouin Soundclash is a renaissance woman of sorts, a sassy storyteller who affects an easy-breezy stage presence, bringing a smooth "it seems like we didn't rehearse but we so obviously did" casual energy that carries her through a 70-minute set of original and cover material.
Her sound is best defined as Motown-inspired soul with subtle notes of rock, blues and postmodern hip-hop R&B. Her style is vocal dynamo, à la Tina Turner in impression and atmosphere. Clad in a twinkling dress emblematic of her star potential, she emerged on stage with just a single guitarist. She seemed a tad vulnerable vocals-wise for the first three or four minutes of the show. But as the rest of the six-piece band (the appropriately titled the Wonderfuls) scampered on stage to accompany her, Charles put the show in top gear, powering the set with a note-perfect delivery and cool stage banter. Original tracks such as "SillyHappyWild," "Dancing with Your Ghost" and "I Am Your Woman" rubbed shoulders with Pink Floyd covers ("Money") and the aforementioned "Valerie."
Officially, Charles' discography is a bit on the light side, with only the notable What? What! What!? seven-track EP in 2010 to date. The sample size that was the comfortably packed Rivoli stands as testament that this fact needs to change. So at the end of the show when Charles let slip that she's at work on a new album (with production by none other than producer Slakah the Beatchild of the Slakadeliqs/Soul Movement fame), you realize that you wish it was in your iPod already.
ReviewsMay 23, 2015
JungleSasquatch Stage, George WA, May 22
Dressed with a camouflage theme, Jungle jammed out their funky sound, and their '70s New York disco-meets-Detroit soul was the perfect after...
ReviewsMay 20, 2015
PrinceSony Centre, Toronto ON, May 19
Wow. What a show. When it was announced this past Saturday (May 16) that the enigma born Prince Rogers Nelson set a Toronto date for his...
ReviewsMay 11, 2015
bizZarhDrake Underground, Toronto ON, May 10
The Punch Records: Best of British Showcase was scheduled to begin at 6:30 on Sunday (May 10), rounding out the end of Canadian Music Week, ...
ReviewsMay 09, 2015
JMSNTattoo, Toronto ON, May 8
Frontman of a power-pop band; major label producer and songwriter; background vocalist on Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city. Detroit n...
ReviewsMay 02, 2015
Leon BridgesThe Drake Hotel, Toronto ON, May 1
New-old soul sensation Leon Bridges doesn't look completely comfortable onstage, but man, can he sing. Give him time. With Internet buzz...
ReviewsMay 02, 2015
TuxedoTattoo, Toronto ON, May 1
When some movie executives decide to inevitably reboot The Wedding Singer, they should get the members of Tuxedo to portray Adam Sandler's c...
ReviewsApr 23, 2015
Jazmine SullivanPhoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto ON, April 22
Being on stage seems to be a cathartic action for R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. She's been forthcoming in the media about this, and was th...
ReviewsApr 19, 2015
Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits / KinobeKoerner Hall, Toronto ON, April 18
There is a scene in the first Reggae Sunsplash movie where Bob Marley fixes the interviewer with a stern gaze as he states: "We know how to ...