There are some artists that you hear, and you simply know, within moments upon hearing the music, that you are at the ground floor of something amazing. Charlie Moon, 17, is one of those artists. Hailing from Riverside, California, her simple, stripped down style has a kind of complexity to it, the kind that is mesmerizingly pleasing to the ear.
The First time I heard her song You'll See, the most infectious of the bunch, I could hear traces of Jenny Owen Youngs and Jenny Lewis from her early Rilo Kiley days; instant indie movie soundtrack. As a matter of fact, when played against Garden State while the movie is muted, the song is a perfect fit, as is the rest of her music. The teen angst that fuels the trio of songs on her page (two original songs, one cover) is that of a genuine kind, as opposed the manufactured bullshit that fills the already diluted airwaves on the radio (don't get me wrong; I dig the early Fall Out Boy stuff, but lately, I have trouble believing the fake frustration that supposedly drive the songs). You'll See is an affectionate warning to one's significant other not to break their heart, and the candid and honest reply of the responding party. For a 17-year old, the use of the F-bomb is a tad racy, but it really lends to the song, and doesn't seem gratuitous at all. The subtle drums and backing vocals make it a well arranged gem to listen to. The Graduation Song is about the desperate need to graduate, and is formatted more as a plea, as if the situation is beyond her control (I really related to this one, since I remember feeling exactly like this in senior year, oh so long ago). The most interesting aspect of her music is the juxtaposition of the pep in her musical step and the melancholy that you can hear in the writing and the delivery of her lyrics; each one of her songs play a sarcastic sentence, and in her cover of Radiohead's Creep, she strips it down to just an ukulele, and while retaining the essence of the song, makes it a sad ballad of someones heartbreak, at least in my opinion. While she only has these three songs on her Myspace page, she has already developed her own style that, while can be slightly compared to several artists, is one that she can fully lay claim to, as can't really hear her as an imitation of someone else, but rather the result of letting dozens of artists serve as a roadmap to the achieved sound.
Now, I'm not going to say that she can do no wrong; I'll admit that her music does pander to a certain crowd, and while enjoyable to listen to, it is rather limited in range. That aside, I hear the makings of something incredible. I hope to hear more of her songs in the near future.