Introducing: Charity Children

18 Feb

Charity Children

Some bands are just meant to be. You can tell from the way they play and sing together that there was no way they could ever have been anything else. Charity Children a Berlin based indie-folk band who are actually from New Zealand and who make rich and evocative music, are one such band.

Chloë Lewer and Elliott McKee, who met in late 2010, are blessed with an amazing story of how they came to fall in love and make music together. So fantastic is it that you almost start to doubt it, but switch off the cynic in you for a moment and you are left with a tale which could be the New Zealand version of Once, but with a happy ending. It is almost impossible not to fall in love with this pair, even before you have heard a song. No, really.

On what became their first date, Elliott had glued a matchbox to his shoe so he could light Chloë’s cigarette like they do in films for crying out loud! We’ll gloss over the fact that he had turned up so late for her gig that he missed the show, they didn’t let it get in the way so neither will we. They started playing music together that very evening and haven’t stopped since. They were given a 100 year old piano by a music store owner who took pity on their lack of funds (to be fair, it was headed for the dump) that turned out to have been made in a shop that was now the bar where that cigarette was lit. You see what we mean about meant to be. Serendipity doesn’t even begin to do this story justice. The piano was christened The Happy Prince, for the Oscar Wilde poem from which they also take their name.

In spring of 2011 Elliott was due to go to Berlin so Chloë went too. They have been there ever since, performing in bars and on the streets, writing and making music. Over the last year they have been recording as well, pulling together material with an assorted orchestra of musicians they have met over the years, for an album, The Autumn Came to be released later this year. Today they released their debut single, “Elizabeth”.

They say it is ”a tribute to the unloved” an ode to their unbroken spirit in the face of torment and heartache. It is a beautiful lament to the feeling of despair that lives within us all, as recounted about a young girl, “Elizabeth”. The accompanying video will damn near break your heart, but just as the tears are about to fall (and trust us, they were coming) you are rescued by the imagination of youth and the joy that can be found inside our minds if we take the time to look. Even as Chloë and Elliott continue to sing, “You’re unloved Elizabeth, you’re unloved” the track and video has built from a simple and melancholic beginning of ukulele and vocals (with the occasional trumpet thrown in), to a rousing, uplifting finale of horns, clapping hands, drums and sunlight. It is a wondrous piece of emotional storytelling and exquisite musicianship.

They say this is the first time the music of Charity Children has been heard beyond the streets of Berlin. It won’t be the last, not by a long shot.

”Elizabeth” is released today (18 Feb) and available as a free download from the Charity Children SoundCloud page.

Stalk Charity Children: Facebook / Website / YouTube

2 Responses to “Introducing: Charity Children”

  1. name not supplied April 6, 2013 at 01:09 #

    what a great story, a serendipitous musicality even Shakepeare couldnt dream up


  1. Charity Children – Elizabeth | Rarity in Form - February 25, 2013

    […] mates over at Alphabet Bands may have introduced me to one of the breakout bands of the year and the next big thing… I […]

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