Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Quick hits: Charles Mansfield

January 6, 2011

Charles Mansfield‘s voice is weird enough to be singular but not so strange as to be completely off-putting. At his low range he bites off his notes with definition; at the top he fades off into a yelp. It never devolves to a whine, which is good; the mellow songs on All the Way EP place most of the heavy lifting on the back of the vocals.

“World Not Enough” does flesh out the arrangement with strings and a drumset, but the song is still driven by the guitar and vocals. The title track is the best offering, as sparse piano and rattling drums create a unique vehicle for Mansfield’s voice, reminiscent of Turin Brakes. His songwriting is solid, but it’s his voice that’s the real draw here. All the Way EP is a good set of four songs to introduce himself as an artist. Fans of the Mountains Goats or unique voices in general should apply within.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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