INTERVIEW: Charmpit | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Milo Gough

A slice of shimmering colour and bubblegum charm can brighten up any day, which is exactly what Charmpit brings to the mix. These DIY pop punks embrace the power of femme, with friendship and social justice high on their list. Admiring their infectious attitude, Anne-Marie, Rhi, Alex, and Estella brought me up to speed with their new album release.

Charmpit are an international bunch, as Rhi explains. “Anne Marie and I met at university in Santa Cruz in 2008. I moved to London the summer of 2015, AM was already here and had met Alex by crashing his birthday BBQ.” Autumn saw the band forming as a ploy to fend off winter sadness: “We signed up for First Timers Fest at DIY Space for London. Alex overheard us practising and wanted in.” Estella was a volunteer sound tech and helped Rhi plug her guitar into an amp on stage for the first time: “Two years later she graced our ranks and brought this thing to a whole another level.”

We thought of Cause A Stir as a silver mixtape, something you could send to a friend as a care package

Wearing their DIY status with pride, Rhi reveals, “We were born in DIY Space! We like to use the term Do It Together to describe how we approach things.” Debut LP Cause A Stir is released on 3rd April and is all about the narrative, playful harmonies and sparkling guitar. AM discloses: “We sat our butts in front of the TV and thought about what we wanted to say, like if we had a sitcom or were writing a musical. We thought of Cause A Stir as a silver mixtape, something you could send to a friend as a care package.”

Highlight track Do It Together has a sweet uplifting sound with a positive message and it’s clearly the band’s anthem. “When we were writing our first song, Droolin’ 4 U, we didn’t know where to start but knew we were feeling very inspired by Shannon and the Clams and their 60s punk sound.” Rhi reveals. “So we Googled the most commonly used chord progressions of the 60s and used the same three chords in many beloved hits like Stand By Me. We wanted to do something kind of equally simple for this song.”
For track Wild Wild Westfield, the lyrics are about their youth and hanging out at the mall. At that time, they never dreamed they would be in a band: “I think we thought about MTV, AOL Instant Messenger, A/S/L and ‘buying’ our first thongs. We had a lot of extra-curricular activities, but no hobbies. If we envisioned a stage then, we would see ourselves as Judy Garland, not with guitars, though we listened to mostly guitar pop bands.”

Charmpit release Cause A Stir via Specialist Subject Records. They also have some great merch on their Bandcamp page


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