The Best Artist You Don't Know: Charlotte Cardin
Trying something new, here. As someone who spends an obscene amount of time immersed in media, I get to know and appreciate artists that don't get the exposure they deserve. A review will go a long way to help them, but sometimes it's not enough. One of my biggest frustrations with writing criticism is that you won't read a review of an artist you don't know... and I don't have a solid track record of keeping up with the mainstream. So, I want to start introducing you to artists I love. Properly, without any project-based boundaries.
Today, I want to tell you about Charlotte Cardin, a singer everyone in Canada loves and that isn't nearly popular enough, south of the border.
Charlotte Cardin-Goyer is a 23 years old singer-songwriter from Montreal, Canada, who became famous overnight in Quebec for participating to our homegrown version of The Voice. Unfortunately for her (and fortunately for us), she didn't win and decided she would have a career greater than what the show could ever offer her.
She started singing in English.
If you're into Taylor Swift because she's a sassy, quirky young women singing fun, simple and empowering things on catchy melodies, this young lady is the equivalent to her Pokemon evolution.
Charlotte Cardin is such an obscenely talented and sophisticated songwriter, it's hard to believe she's so young. She pays a smooth and diversified blend of pop and electronic music with jazz and soul music influence. Her sound is sassy, mature and entirely hers. It's tempting to dismiss a young, quiet-looking white woman behind the piano as the second coming of Norah Jones, but these two have almost nothing in common.
But her calling card is definitely her lyrics. Charlotte Cardin writes songs that makes men fall in love with her and makes every woman want to be her friend. Her signature song Main Girl (see above) is a vivid and intoxicating anthem to everyone who's been caught at being somebody's emotional fallback plan. Like It Doesn't Hurt, my favorite song from hers, is this groovy, luscious and melancholic post-breakup banger that perfectly blends lyrics and melody. I love how she just breathes out the chorus in the background like the ghost of girlfriend past over Nate Husser's rap verse. Gives me goosebumps every time. Listen for yourselves:
Why isn't she more recognized in the U.S? It's a difficult question to answer, but she doesn't have a lot of songs. Charlotte Cardin is both a perfectionist and millennial, so she tends to release her songs one-by-one on streaming platforms. She only has a six songs EP that's 100% in English and not all her best songs are on it. Booty call anthem Dirty Dirty and Like It Doesn't Hurt are from 2016's Big Boy, which is half in French. That makes it difficult to fairly assess how good she is in a review.
It's not that difficult for an experienced pop songwriter to be catchy, but it's difficult to be catchy and meaningful. Charlotte Cardin's songs resonate with every person that gives her material a spin (self included) because of her terrific writing and storytelling skills, but also because of her creative vision. She crafted an artistic paradigm for her music, where it can live without being associated with any existing act. I made a comparison at the beginning of this piece to draw you in, but Charlotte Cardin has little to do with Taylor Swift.
She's in the league of extraordinary female songwriters alongside the likes of Florence Welch. And, I don't know about you, but knowing that a 23 years old can be that good and become already quite successful in 2018 makes me believe we're not doomed yet. If you read through this entire piece without clicking on any of the links because you don't know the songs, try this Post Malone cover. If this doesn't win you over, it's time to paint your house beige.