REVIEW: Kerry Charles - Two Cozy Rooms Vol. 1

Kelly Kirwan

Kerry Charles has a satin-sweet croon, a high-octave murmur which glides over smooth R&B and brassy saxophone interludes. His songs are laced with groovy synths, which may be both a remnant of his prior musical persona, Science Fiction Fantasy, which had an affinity for skittering electronica. But now, with his debut EP, Two Cozy Rooms Vol. 1, Charles has found his footing in jazzier melodies with a glint of '70s-inspired funk. He’s swapped jilted edges for suave, sultry movements that have the buzz of in-the-mood music with the online reviewers panel. And after a listen, I feel confident in telling you to put that Slow Jams playlist on the back burner. Kerry Charles doesn’t disappoint when it comes to seductive waves. In fact, the overhead lights may just autonomously dim the moment you press play.

The opening track, "Trembling," feels tailored for lingering glances at an old flame from across the bar. There's a gentle, shimmying percussion and wistful desire, "It's been a long time since I've seen you with that look in your eye ... when I am alone, I think of you," Charles sings in his signature falsetto, and the woodwind solo near the end will have you relishing in bittersweet moments of past relationships. Following this, there's "Here in Hell," whose more dispirited air seems to have taken a cue from forlorn blues. Charles' voice takes on a slight rasp, as haywire synths ricochet occasionally in the background. It’s a song centered around longing, as the entire EP seems to be. It’s a longing for rekindling or for the taboo thrill of infidelity, but either way, romance in its idyllic or failed forms is at the core. And it’s unavoidably enticing.