Every scene needs its Linda Rondstadt—the cool chick with hip clothes who pops up on everyone’s records in one capacity or another but can also belt a few out on her own if given half a chance—and we have ours in Pearl Charles, the talented ex-Blank Tapes drummer/vocalist who recently uploaded two songs off her upcoming EP, the first to be released under her own name, to Soundcloud. While I’ve been lukewarm on her other projects, both “You Can Change” and “Night and Day” are killer-diller Pearl originals steeped in the sounds of 70s singer-songwriter records that are much maligned for their MOR qualities but can’t be beat for production value.
“Night and Day” is a deceptively simple number given weight by its impeccable musical arrangement and Pearl’s lovely voice which fairly pours over the listener in cascades of perfectly placed “dum dum dum’s” and “ah ah ah’s”. The song is deep with instrumentation provided by compatriots Matt Adams (The Blank Tapes) and Taylor Locke (Rooney, Taylor Locke & The Roughs), and it’s worth seeking out a good pair of headphones in order to better hear and savor the ear candy, including some very nice work on the sitar guitar and 12-string. It’s a little bit Allah-Las and a lot Gene Clark (the lyric “Truly she’s no other” might not be a direct Clark reference but the music surely is) and you can easily imagine either Ronstadt or Christine McVie belting “Night and Day” out to an adoring crowd circa 1973, and maybe again at The Forum last week.
Pearl’s EP is slated to be released by Burger Records in the springtime, (In time for SXSW 2015! – Pearl) but at the end of the night (and day) it’s great to hear Pearl come out from behind the drum kit and sing songs of her own making rather than those made about her.