Review of Charlotte Hatherley's album New Worlds
Released on her own Little Sister Records label, 'New Worlds' is the third solo album from former Ash and occasional Bats For Lashes guitarist Charlotte Hatherley. Playing a trio of headlining dates in late November, she has gained critical praise for her previous efforts 'Grey Will Fade' and 'The Deep Blue', though sales failed to reflect this.
Anyone familiar with Hatherley's own work can quickly see why she left the comfortable ground of indie-pop with Ash, for while she certainly favours a pop styling her influences are more mature - think the likes of Talking Heads or XTC. 'New Worlds' is a lush collection of enchanting melodies combined with an effortlessly sweeping vocalist, with the mood varying from the catchy and quirky 'White' through to light cabaret on 'Firebird'. 'Alexander' is another gem, beginning as an acoustic beauty before revealing an aggressive underbelly, while the title track itself is a wonderful combination of quirky bass and guitar lines. The hooks continue to charm on 'Full Circle' and the at-times demonic 'Little Sahara', which also veers between punk riffing and unpredictable guitar turns. If all pop sounded as good as this then the music world would be a much better place, but unfortunately this isn't the case and even more unfortunate is that Hatherley is unlikely to receive the recognition she richly deserves. Still, you sense that this won't bother a woman who left commercial success to follow her own dreams and quite clearly makes music just for the pure enjoyment of being able to.