A Brave and Bold New World
Charlotte Hatherley has always been part of the spectacle rather than the main attraction. From her time in Ash she was the icily cool guitar wielding goddess content in the background and has since shied away from headline grabbing revelatory stories about the real reason behind her departure from the band. With two assured solo albums under her belt and appearing in what can only be described as the best music video of the decade, the Edgar Wright directed, Bastardo; she has done little to court the fame that others in her position would have.
Ironically, since leaving the band her career has been catapulted to new heights. Having been moonlighted to work with Brody Dalle and Courtney Love, hand-picked by Bryan Ferry to work in his touring band and more recently completing the touring line-up for Bat for Lashes; Hatherley has now gone one step further and produced the finest album of her solo career.
Whereas Grey Will Fade and The Deep Blue had sweeping yet brief moments of brilliance, New Worlds feels like a complete package, with every song buzzing with assured confidence. This is very much Hatherley on top of her game.
From the gentle, shimmering groove of ‘White’ (the video plays out as a psychedelic ode to Brian De Palma’s Carrie in reverse), to the sexy strut of ‘Straight Lines’, to the new wave tinged ‘New Words’, right through to the gorgeous cooing and whispered ‘Cinnabar’: every song forms an immensely congruent part of Hatherley’s pop tinged opus.
Thematically colour is the uniting element that runs throughout the album, both lyrically and through the vibrancy of the music. The lush and dreamy sweeping audio soundscapes are dispersed with pops of rhythmical and musical colour which explode in the ear like audio fireworks: Hatherley has really hit upon a beguiling musical concoction here.
New Worlds is palpably alive with the colour, vivacity and life and ear marks a new chapter in the life of one talented woman. This is the time that Hatherley takes centre stage and becomes the main attraction, as she sure does shine bright here.