Feature: Ingredients of Ideal Life with Charlotte Spiral

Monday, February 24, 2020
Photo by Barbora Mrazkova

London-based duo Charlotte Spiral have impressed with their first two singles 'Wide Eyed' and 'Only Place I Know', and this month they revealed the final piece of their EP Ideal Life with the equally beautiful 'End Of Summer'. Their tender debut EP explores themes such as self-hood and self-doubt, showcasing the beauty of their artistry over the course of each of the three tracks. Amy Spencer and Avi Barath from Charlotte Spiral take us through the inspiration behind Ideal Life below. 

Figure Skating 
When we first started producing the tracks from the EP, we put them over old black and white figure skating footage. We always wanted to portray elegance throughout all aspects of the project and we love how graceful figure skaters are, so decided to take our name Charlotte Spiral from a figure skating pose. It’s a pose where you do a split whilst standing… Neither of us have ever really skated and have no intention to start, but we admire it from a distance.

Avi: a couple of years ago we moved into a house that we shared with some friends and luckily there was an old upright piano in there. It totally changed the way we were making music, and in many ways led into a very inspiring time which gave birth to Charlotte Spiral. For a few months I was mainly listening to pieces of solo piano music, from romantic composers to current stuff like Chilly Gonzales or Duval Timothy, and then spending hours by our piano writing some sketches that Amy would later develop into the first Charlotte Spiral songs.

Winter Light and Lavender
Amy: The artwork for the EP is based on a painting by Jack Vettriano called “Winter Light and Lavender”. The painting is actually behind me in the EP artwork and my pose is loosely based on the way the model sits. I’ve always loved Vettriano paintings, and this one, in particular, feels really melancholic and lethargic, which is also something we wanted to portray in our aesthetic. Our wonderful photographer friend Barbora Mrazkova shot this on an analogue camera — she’s a fantastic photographer and one of the only people I truly feel comfortable in front of a camera with.

Memphis Skyline
Amy: We are huge fans of Rufus Wainwright and take a lot of inspiration from him. It was the song “Memphis Skyline”, which was written about Jeff Buckley that I remember Avi first showing me. We love his use of harmony and melody, his luscious voice and the theatrical element throughout his music… plus we also love Jeff Buckley!

Amy: The lyrics throughout the EP are about melancholic everyday goings-on, normal things that happen in life that most people experience. Feelings of self-doubt and regret are the main themes throughout the songs. 'Only Place I Know' is about constantly going back to this place of self-doubt; 'Wide Eyed' is about being young and thinking “I’m going to do this when I grow up”, but it not being anywhere near as simple as you imagined; 'End Of Summer' is about wanting something so much but getting the feeling from people around you that this may never happen and your life might just have to exist differently to how you imagined it

Listen to Ideal Life by Charlotte Spiral below:


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