Things are changing for singer-songwriter Charles Costa AKA King Charles. His 2012 album ‘LoveBlood’ was a bouncy and quirky collection of pop gems. But January sees the release of its follow-up, and it couldn’t be further removed. Those big pop hooks have been replaced with something else; something more honest, and raw. After his collaboration with Mumford & Sons on that last album, he teams up again with Marcus Mumford, amongst others to create a clever collection of beautifully written and produced tracks. I don’t know if it’s those influences that have pushed him this album in that direction, or the producer was chosen perfectly for this new sound. But either way, he wears it well. All this mixed with the subtle gravel in his voice, ‘Gamble For A Rose’ appears to be the album he was always meant to make.
In November last year we were treated to a sneak preview from the album in the release of the title track. It is a tender orchestral track that really showed us up front what to expect from the album. Those arrangements continue throughout the course of the album. But despite the change of pace, ‘Gamble For A Rose’ is far from melancholic. It has a hopeful and euphoric feel to it, and above all is deeply romantic. Production aside, lyrically it is sharp and the songs are brilliantly put together. We’re eased gently into the album with the first release from the album, ‘Loose Change For The Boatman’. Lyrically he is on form with this opener, and it continues that way throughout. ‘In Silhouette’ is one of the many moments from the album. It is so laid back, and his vocals are laid totally bare, giving it a really emotion filled sound. Whilst ‘Bright Thing’ is a simple but perfectly formed love song that makes you want to play it over and over again.
There are a couple of tracks revisited from his last album. Most notably a rerub of ‘Coco Chitty’, the standout track from ‘LoveBlood’. It is a beautiful, yet tragic one sided love song. It was one of the more sweeping tracks from the last album, and finishes this new one off nicely as a closing track. King Charles has always had his own unique style, and created music to match that. But what this new album has done is push his music on a step further. ‘Gamble For A Rose’ will no doubt gain him a whole new audience, including a certain music blogger. ‘Gamble For a Rose’ is out 22nd january. Check out the video for the title track now.