Charlie Weber’s Reflecting on the Past Year, Through Upcoming Album Release, “2020”

Charlie Weber’s music is the crossroads between lyrical creativity, diverse genres and innovation. It’s a sound that is uniquely his, which just can’t be replicated.

     Charlie Weber is a Canadian Americana/folk artist hailing from London, ON. Before pursuing his solo career, Weber was a part of several bands pertaining to various genres of music. This is reflected in his unique sound, which he described as being, “Americana meets punk rock. It’s what it would sound like if Tom Petty was in a punk rock band” (Weber). Lyrically, Weber is influenced by Ska music. As he mentioned he enjoys the “Sad, low, lyrics paired with upbeat music” (Weber), and this has influenced the setup of his songs. This combination gives Weber’s music a sound like no other– Which makes it hard to peg his music in only one box. As Weber emphasized, “I choose creativity over genre. Although genre helps you stay focused, and making a genre-focused album is better for creating a listener experience. But with singles, you can stray away a bit more.” And this is exactly what he does- which keeps Weber’s fans wondering what musical challenge he’ll take on next.

     With the absence of live gigs, 2020 has been a difficult year for artists; with many learning to adapt to new challenges/online venues in order to keep doing what they love. Weber is no exception to this, and while he’s been adapting the best he could, “it’s slightly different than what [he] imagined being an artist would look like” (Weber). As he explained, “Being completely online was never my complete choice. It can sometimes be difficult to come up with content and represent it in an interesting way. It’s easy to forget to post and do your hashtag research. However, there are great gains by being consistent on social media. I started doing livestreams on Facebook and started to see an increase in follower growth” (Weber). As with many things in life, what you invest is returned to you, which was the case here.

Charlie Weber- 2020 EP Recording Process

One good thing did come out of 2020 for Weber: his new EP, “2020”. The album itself is symbolic for Weber, as it represents all the struggles and new situations he faced during the pandemic, and how he consistently rose to the challenge. Making this album a relatable one for many. As Weber explained, “The album reflects what everyone is going through; we’re all dealing with diverse situations in light of the pandemic” (Weber). Each song on the album was also written by Weber himself, with the whole process taking him from March to September-October of this year. The album is also a great accomplishment for Weber, having recorded it entirely by using his iPhone and a peanut butter jar as a mic stand (See thebove video for more details). While he could have had someone else help him record the album, given the covid-restrictions, he chose to push himself to record his own with the makeshift gear and software at his disposal. This aligned with one of his life mottos, “No one is going to do it for you, you have to do it yourself” (Weber). The final album was then mixed and mastered by Richard Gracious from Forest Records, a long-term collaborator of Weber’s.

“2020” EP cover art. Photo courtesy of Charlie Weber.

     The first track on the album, “Peacocking for No One” tells the story of trying to find the will to keep up your appearances, despite not going anywhere–Hence the title. The song has a very folk sound, with a strong guitar presence. The second track, “Discount Championship T-Shirts”, speaks about a professional baseball player who has found himself out of work. And is grappling with his lack of a job/purpose.  This song is more upbeat and fast-paced, despite the melancholic lyrics, which truly demonstrates the influence Ska music has had on Weber. The third track, “Pale Horse” tells the tale of a man who lost his mind and burned down his home before flying to Mexico. This song takes on more of a narrative storytelling format and lacks a chorus. The fourth and final track, “We Shall Be Free”, was inspired by a song by the Mountain Goats, “This Year”. At the beginning of the pandemic, Weber listened to this song on repeat, resonating with the lyric, “I am going to make it through this year, if it kills me” (1:11-1:15). Which became a motivator for him to get through the pandemic, no matter the challenges that arise (Weber). Thus, “We Shall be Free” is a song for anyone who needs a little extra hope and motivation to “hang in there” during these unprecedented times.

2020 will be available for purchase on Bandcamp under a “pay what you can” campaign as of Dec. 26th. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about Charlie Weber and his music, be sure to check out his socials:

Website: https://www.charlie-weber.ca

IG: @charlierwebermusic

FB: @CharlieWeberMusic

Purchase Charlie Weber’s EP, “2020”:

https://charlieweber.bandcamp.com

 

Works Cited:

Lam, Alex. ” Canadian Americana/folk artist, Charlie Weber”. Photo courtesy of Charlie Weber. Accessed Dec 16 2020.

The Mountain Goats. “This Year”. Apple Music, unknown, 2005. https://music.apple.com/ca/album/this-year/1445589195?i=1445589202

Weber, Charlie. Interview. Conducted by Kyla Pearson, Dec 16 2020.

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