Le Volume Courbe releases a brand-new EP, Fourteen Years, via Honest Jons Records on November 13. It is the first in a series of three EPs that will combine to make up the third album by French-born singer and producer Charlotte Courbe, the follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed I Wish Dee Dee Ramone Was Here With Me.
The time since the last album has been full of highs and lows for Charlotte. In 2017 she joined Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, first contributing vocals to ‘It’s A Beautiful World’ and subsequently heading out on tour during which she famously played scissors. But last year she was diagnosed with cancer, and felt the urge to produce and release her own music because “it became like a vital thing”. During her subsequent chemotherapy treatment, she recorded the EP tracks ‘MRI Song’ and ‘Planet Ping Pong’.
The EP is rounded out with a cover of Daniel Johnston’s ‘Mind Contorted’, which is presented as a duet with Terry Hall, and also features his son Theodore and Noel Gallagher on guitar. The title track is the oldest song on the record and was originally supposed to feature on the last Le Volume Courbe album, but instead was held back and used as the starting point of a new, more free musical direction. Watch the video, directed by Spencer Bewley, below.
The originality of Charlotte’s music shares something with outsider art; naïve, primitive, primal, rather than following the standard rules. This new EP – self-produced and mixed by Charlotte with Brendan Lynch, with co-production on ‘MRI Song’ by Shelley Parker – is no exception, it is a unique and compelling listen laced with surprises, subversions and a refreshing candour which sets it apart from anything else.
Watch the video for ‘Fourteen Years’ – BELOW:
Charlotte was born and raised in France and moved to London in 1995. After 25 years in the capital she escaped to Brighton just before lockdown. She was first signed to Alan McGee’s Poptones label in 2001 and her debut album I Killed My Best Friend was released in 2005. She has also worked with a number of other bands and musicians, including Kevin Shields, Grimm Grimm, The Television Personalities, Simon Raymonde and Piano Magic. Her song ‘Born To Lie’ was featured in Series 2 of Killing Eve, and Spotify recently selected her song ‘Rusty’ for their best of the ’00s compilation.
“She reminds me of a female Syd Barrett… she keeps running into me all over the place from concerts or serving me ice cream at the Curzon on a wet Saturday night or on Jools Holland with the High Flying Birds… I love Charlotte… a great talent and a real psychedelic soul musician.” Alan McGee
“When I first met her she was wearing a cape… she looked like a little piece of Lego. She told me she liked some of my songs but not all of them. (I hadn’t even asked her opinion!!) She’s beautiful, fearless and one hell of a tambourine player.” Noel Gallagher
“A true original and a truly unique artist. There’s is not many I can say this about, but I honestly think I love everything she’s ever recorded! All hail the Scissor Queen!” David Holmes
“Inspiring originality, fiercely independent beautiful music, always years ahead of its time. I remember hearing Charlotte’s music for the first time and being immediately taken by the freshness, great melodies and utterly unique approach.” Kevin Shields
“Charlotte is bewitchingly talented, a true rarity that has inspired a lot of creative people. The kind of woman songs are written about. She’s an artist that steals your heart away and then comforts you with her stunning music.” Hope Sandoval