From Hull, East Yorkshire, singer Charlotte Jane’s well-deserved success in the music industry has flourished over the past few years. Her songs consist of relatable, poignant lyrics presented through soulful vocals with lush harmonies. Often her songs depict difficult emotions, with a sense of overcoming them and feeling empowered to do so— endearingly uplifting her listeners.
This song starts off with a sense of unease, with just a distant high-pitched vocal riff and electronic sounds setting the soundscape. A powerful smack into a laid back drum beat with rhythmic, soulful chords follows, instantly giving a sense of strength and stability. When Charlotte’s voice enters, it immediately strikes the listener as contemporary and on-trend; her deep, full tone has weight to it, and effortlessly blends with the other sounds in the track.
In the pre-chorus, the vocals become less plaintive and much more rhythmic and agitated. This creates a build in tension towards the chorus, but also perhaps the sense of a change in mentality— the pre-chorus melody feels motivated and and determined, the antithesis of a “down day”.
The dichotomy between the “down day” concept and the functions of the music itself develops throughout the track. The bright harmonies under the lyrics “down days” depict Charlotte’s positive outlook on situations and enforces the idea of empowering her listeners. Adding brass instruments gives more impact and motivation to the chorus, and the higher register shows off a new level to Charlotte’s fantastic voice.
With the arrival of the bridge comes a contrast in atmosphere, the piano riff is omitted and the texture strips right back to give a sense of vulnerability. The accompanying chords are much slower, and thick but delicate layered vocals add to the empathy of this section. The melody is harmonised beautifully, with the top line exhibiting Charlotte’s impressive vocal range.
The chorus returns as if in recovery from the melancholy of the previous section. This final presentation of the chorus is a real climax in the song— Charlotte’s embellishments of the melody and runs up to very high notes show both her sophisticated musicianship and exceptional vocal talent. Ending the track with the lyric “it’s okay to have down days” cements the core message of perseverance through hard times.
Fresh, current, and uplifting, Down Days exhibits Charlotte Jane’s limitless capabilities as a musician, leaving us excited as we await her further releases.
You can watch the official music video, directed and filmed by Charlotte at her home in Hull with her sister Jessica.
Words: Alice Hill