Charlie Needs Braces (the nom de plume of Charlie Woods) has created such a unique palette upon which she crafts her art: a vivacious, sibilant, hyper energetic sonic world that has an azure blue aquatic quality about it. Deeply connected to the land of her First Nations people, the music and the words are filled with evocative imagery and an ugent restless movement, a soundscape filled with an exuberance and unexpected whoops and cries, organic and flowing. The new single ‘Saltwater People’ has all this along with an untrammeled joy and energy. Woods says of the track:
I was inspired after Uncle Laurie took me and my mum up to a sacred women’s area on Country, we were standing on these huge flat rocks with ancient carvings all around, looking out at the ocean when the clouds started to close in around us and grow dark. Thunder and lightning started to rumble and white flashes started to strike all around. That’s when Uncle told us that our people have always been known as the ‘holders of lightning’. It felt like the spirits knew we’d arrived and were celebrating our arrival, the place was so magical I wanted to sing and capture the same feeling I had that day on Country.
Woods works with loops and adds her own trumpet filigree to burnish the sonic, cyclical layers. The lyrics are expansive and celebratory:
Saltwater people, living where the river meets the sea, waves crash and tumble, stingrays and dolphins swimming.
The tide comes in, the tide goes out, the river fills up and down, and its rising deeper now, but the fish you cannot see.
This is joyous life affirming brilliance that even a sun avoiding miserable goth like me can enjoy.
The track is the title track from Charlie Needs Braces’ newly announced album, available to pre-order through the link below and out on 10 February. Woods says of the album:
I wanted to celebrate my Aboriginal background, and involve language, tell stories about my mobs culture and traditions in the lyrics and mood of the songs. I also got braces in 2020 and thought it’d be funny to call it ‘Charlie Needs Braces’ and record my teeth movement as they changed and evolved into shape. I feel like the album and my teeth’s journey started at the same time and developed and evolved together, and funnily enough, I finished the album at the same time as I got my braces and plastic plates off haha.
Based on the singles released so far, this album is going to be something very satisfying to sink one’s teeth into.