Charlemagne Charlemagne

Carl Johns of Wisconsin psychedelic folk quintet Noahjohn has taken advantage of a band hiatus to write and record this first solo project under the alias of Charlemagne. The songs possess a spectral quality that haunts the best of folk and blues laments. Styles merge at an improbable, imaginary crossroads where Nick Drake and Lee Hazlewood could trade verses. Likewise, the musical combination of acoustic guitar, droning keyboards and drum machine offers up unique possibilities. Johns’ lyrics are erudite and elliptical, never sacrificing melody for wordiness, preferring half-winks to whole-headed nods in his word play. Love lost is conveyed in lines like "And here I am tonight/And you are in absentia,” and elsewhere a desperately repeated "I am over you” indicates that to be anything but true. (Winterlander)