Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
Charlie Winston enjoys throwing rain showers around. He tosses one this way and then walks right into another one, just down the street, a couple blocks further on. Some of them he lets just soak him through, right to the gills. These are the showers, with that cold, cold, cold spitting precipitation flicking you off with its dark spots that look like bullet holes, that wear him down, that take his enthusiasm down a few notches. It's hard to keep the head up and proud when the gloom of a downpour sets its sights on you. Then, there are the rainstorms that he embraces. He'll go out and splash his brains out. He'll stomp around in puddles, dancing as the water falls hard.
Winston, more often than not, takes the approach of the latter. He tromps through the rain, somewhat gleefully, all while he should be slogging through it, defeated and somewhat lost. His songs seem determined to keep the dimples in their cheeks, even when everything's pointing to these times being the best of times and the worst of times. The clouds are not breaking here. They're just starting to form an alliance with the grayness that's going to sink everyone and everything it can find to cover.
Winston sings to nothing and nobody in the song, "Hello Alone," addressing an empty room as a most trusted friend and confidant. He has come to believe in the solitary sounds that being alone bring him - actually attributing them human qualities of empathy and brotherhood. Those silent days and nights, those dull echoes and hat restlessness have become comforting and appreciated. The man, or men, who arise out of these songs are burnt, but they're intent of thriving still. They're okay with the conversations they have with themselves, in their heads. They're okay with the fantasies drummed up, when they're alone, when they're needy and tired of being alone. They're okay if they never happen. Winston sings, "I think that there's a freak in me," and it's somewhat rhetorical, somewhat exciting to him, considering how quickly everything could change. It's simply a matter of making the best out of bruises and the downturns.