Music, as we all know, can be incredibly therapeutic. For singer and songwriter Charlee Remitz, however, the creative process has proven to be healing, while life has fed her art. It’s symbiotic. Now on her third full-length album, Remitz has pretty much gone it alone with Garden, writing everything and producing too. She has been, according to her social media pages, wounded by “abuse, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, and self-image struggles,” and it was time for her to take control.
“I never realized how much more I could really say with my music by producing,” she said on Facebook. “Now, I have all the creative power. If something doesn’t have the right color, I can change it. The music I’m creating feels like the most me it’s ever been because I rejected how everyone else said I’m supposed to do things.”
It all worked out; Garden is a mature and accomplished piece of work. The melodies are front and center, and somehow there’s a stark feel to the lush production. The pain that she’s expelling is very evident: on the gorgeous “Heartbreak Daily” she coos “You tell me that you love me then you love me for dead,” with a Lana Del Rey-esque sing-songy quality.
It’s disarming, the way that she hypnotizes with her voice and, yes, production, before tearing out your heart with her lyrics. Contemporary artists such a Lorde and Del Rey will be referenced, but Remitz clearly listens to the likes of Elton John too.
“I’ve always loved gardens,” she said. “In England, gardens are overcast and rainy. Every color is dark, moody, ambient, versus the usual bright and in-your-face Alice in Wonderland trope. Life isn’t like that. It gets really depressing at times and I felt like an English moor better mirrored all the aching I was feeling and all the flowers I was growing. But growth is subtle — healing is subtle. Much like planting the seeds for a garden, it’s slow, it tests your patience, it makes you question everything and then it blooms all at once.”
That’s what we have here — the sound of a blossoming artist expelling a lot of shit and using it to her advantage. She’s healing, she’s growing and she’s making incredible music.
It’ll be interesting to see where she goes from here. For now, this is an album that the listener should hang around in, lie down with, fully immerse oneself in. Like, y’know, a garden.
Garden will be released on January 17. Charlee Remitz will perform an album release show with Melanie Iglesias and Jarrod Harper at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 16 at the 11:11. Half of the ticket sales plus a percentage of merch sales will go directly to The Garden Foundation.