Charlene Kaye Kicks Off Winter Tour to Support ANIMAL LOVE Album, Now thru 12/13
Back to the Article
by BWW News Desk
Charlene Kaye spent much of this year crossing the nation with the Team StarKid Apocalyptour, playing a full-band opening set and then joining the StarKid band on guitar supporting her iTunes Pop Charting LP Animal Love. Of those shows, VH1 praised that "she held a tight grip on the crowd. Her set ended with “Animal Love I,” an electrifying anthem (and the best song of the entire evening) that seemed fitting for a theater of people who had been told to expect end of the world."
For a preview of what to expect from Charlene Kaye's Animal Love LP and live show, check out the dance-tastic video for "Animal Love I," the live footage video for "Hummingbird Heart" and the darkly explosive video for "Forever Is A Long Time" - of which VH1 again praised, "Kaye's music is at once classic and contemporary, a mix of glam rock and classical music in just the right measures. In her new video for 'Forever Is A Long Time,' she takes a darker turn."
More music, tour dates and info below!
Charlene Kaye Tour Dates
After an overwhelming outpouring of support from fans via Kickstarter, Animal Love was recorded in Brooklyn with Charlene Kaye's band mate and producer Tomek Miernowski [The Pierces]. Grab LP tracks "Animal Love I," and "Hummingbird Heart" and for more of what to expect from Animal Love, check out live performances of album tracks "Animal Love I,""Animal Love II," and "Hummingbird Heart."
It's been all systems go for Charlene Kaye since releasing her sophomore album Animal Love, which reached #15 on the iTunes pop charts upon its release this May. In addition to touring relentlessly and playing CMJ and SXSW festivals, the ambitious musician/performer has earned enthusiastic reviews for her commanding voice, deft guitar playing and electrifying live shows. She has over a million views on her YouTube channel and has shared a bill with the likes of Big Boi, Minus the Bear and Holly Miranda. This past November and again in May, she went on two national tours supporting musical theater/internet sensation Team StarKid, gaining her thousands of new fans. Her single "Dress and Tie" featuring good friend Darren Criss of Glee was featured in a promo for NBC's Chuck, had extensive play on radio stations nationwide, and was selected as official boarding music for Delta Airlines.
With a sound that fuses the grandiose pomp of Queen, the grittiness of Joan Jett, and the sentimentality of Rufus Wainwright, Charlene Kaye is a force whose music is at once classic and contemporary, of the times yet unmistakably timeless. With a rapidly growing fan base and more touring on the horizon, Kaye shows no signs of slowing down, picking up steam even before she leaves the ground.
"I just want a little bit of your ecstasy," sings Charlene Kaye on the opening track of her second full-length album, Animal Love. Such electric, exultant energy courses through the 10-song disc, out now.
Born in Hawaii and raised in Hong Kong, Singapore and Arizona, Charlene's love of music started with classical piano training at age five. At 13, she began teaching herself punk songs on her mom's nylon guitar and was further influenced by her sister's love of classic rock bands such as Queen and Led Zeppelin. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in English, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in music. Things have been nonstop for the ambitious songwriter-performer ever since.
Her 2011 single "Dress and Tie"—featuring longtime friend and Glee star Darren Criss—was featured in a promo for NBC's Chuck, was selected as official boarding music for Delta Airlines, and has amassed over 20,400 downloads on iTunes to date. Last November, she opened for internet sensation Team StarKid and played guitar in their backing band on a sold-out national tour. Charlene has shared a bill with Big Boi, Minus the Bear and Holly Miranda, and her music has been featured on mtvU, The Atlantic Magazine online and The Huffington Post. Last summer, she launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for Animal Love, setting a goal of $20,000. Enthusiastic fans netted her upwards of $33,000.
Produced and engineered by Brooklyn's Tomek Miernowski (The Pierces, The Madison Square Gardeners), Animal Love explodes from the first hook of opener "Animal Love I." "The song was inspired by that reckless, rapturous feeling of meeting someone who you think could be a very big deal, and what that sonic equivalent might be," Charlene says. The song is anthemic and catchy, starting out with a simple kick-snare beat and building with lush synthesizers and euphoric gang vocals chanting "Let your bones show, let your bones show / won't have to hide, have to hide anymore."
While her first record, 2008's Things I Will Need in the Past, primarily employed acoustic guitars, piano and strings in an avant-folk vein, Animal Love has greater emphasis on pop production, with drum samples, synthesizers and electric guitars populating the soundscape. Despite this new machinery, Charlene says that this album feels more raw and more human in ways the first one does not.
"With Things, I feel like my classical background compelled me to arrange everything precisely, right down to the vocal melody—I sang everything very cleanly and evenly, but I never 'let go.' With Animal Love, the process was much more intuitive, and I took risks I normally wouldn't have in the past," she says. "I did a lot of new things with my voice—there are some songs where I'm just screaming. I think ultimately, that feeling is what I wanted to capture the most on this record: complete catharsis, going from the sensible to the sublime."
Though the record has its playful moments (the Beyoncé-inflected pop gem "Woman Up"), there is a drama and intensity that runs throughout. "Forever is a Long Time," a song about the inability to commit to a lover for eternity, features a tight disco groove, roiling guitars, and strings that soar with cinematic urgency. "Don't Make Me Believe" is perhaps the closest Charlene gets to arena rock, with a slamming wall of guitars and her voice hitting a show-stopping high note at the song's apex. "Animal Love II," the sister title track and album closer, is a cosmic, soul-infused number that explores the idea of romantic love as a physical entity. Charlene sings, backed by rich harmonies, "What am I gonna do with this love for you? Can't throw it out the window / Can't poison it out."