There are no upcoming gigs for Charlie Lim .
Stretched far between acoustic melancholia, post-rock, indie-R&B, and electronic-pop – the extremities that mark Charlie Lim’s music, is a certain sense of cinematic gravitas that takes you on a sonic journey set against the rich narratives of life’s tales.
When singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Charlie Lim released his self-titled debut EP in 2011 – a compact parcel of perfectly designed pop eclecticism – critics were led on by the infectious nods to folk-rock and neo-soul. Not only did the tracks have the ability to move with heart-wrenching honesty, they showed unusual range from a young, and relatively unknown Singapore-born talent.
Garnering solid reviews and airplay across Asia-Pacific, the EP opened doors to the region’s biggest stages – with a 7-city tour across Asia, headlining slots at key festivals such as The Gathering, Mosaic Music Festival, Clockenflap, Urbanscapes, Jarasum Jazz Festival and Music Matters Live, alongside international artists such as Kimbra, Sigur Rós, Robert Glasper Experiment, Snarky Puppy, Elbow and De La Soul.
Charlie’s latest release, Time/Space, a double EP containing two collections of songs – with Time reflecting his folk-rock songwriting sensibilities and Space a manifestation of his DIY approach to experimental pop production. Never one to rest on being formulaic, the new record is a meticulous representation of Charlie’s inimitable artistic brooding and insatiable demand to push the boundaries of pop music today.
From the flirtatious ragtime-piano satire of the opening teaser “Blah Blah Blues” and the apocalyptic alt-folk meltdown of “Bitter” on Time, to the dark electronic grooves and Prince-inspired vocals on “Conspiracy” and the slow-burning cinematic closer “I Only Tell The Truth” on Space, the journey of the record explores the gamut from darkness to light, sadness to joy – and like a slow inhale and exhale, is ultimately uplifting. Even within the dual polarities of Time/Space’s ambitious stylistic arc, the record never strays from being seamless and intimate in its storytelling, all tied together by a delicate thread that is Charlie’s velvet vocal.
Within an hour of its release, Time/Space clinched the top spot on the iTunes Singapore chart, and his songs have received over 400,000 plays on Spotify within a month of the launch.
The quintessential Charlie Lim experience ultimately lies in the live show. Whether as a solo act; or with his super-band The Mothership, Charlie meticulously sculpts a musical narrative so mesmerising that audiences often find themselves rudely jolted back into reality upon its conclusion.
Following two landmark, sold-out shows at The Esplanade’s Mosaic Music Festival in 2014 – an achievement never claimed by a Singaporean artist – Charlie premiered Time/Space at Singapore’s premier music venue, the 1,600-seat Concert Hall; yet another first.