After three years since his last full-length album, CharlestheFirst returns with his third album, SOLUS. The body of work is a release through Label w/ No Name, which also hosts CharlestheFirst’s 2018 album, Ascent.
Across 13 tracks the album manages to remain cohesive while maintaining diversity in sounds and emotion. SOLUS features deep dub, psychedelic, glitchy, atmospheric and sometimes eerie bass, while expanding on the hip-hop influence found in previous CharlestheFirst works.
The low frequencies of deep dub are most prominent in “Foreboding Feeling,” featuring California-based producer Potions, who was also featured on the Ascent album. “Fleeting Memories” features dreamy and glitchy bass with subtle breakbeats and a healthy dose of bass in the latter half of the song.
But the true standouts from SOLUS are its R&B vocal-driven tracks like “Figured U Out” and “For Now.” This seems to be a natural progression for CharlestheFirst, whose music has long been influenced by hip-hop. While some previous CTF songs featured limited vocals, this album makes space for lyrics in a way that we haven’t yet seen from CharlestheFirst.
Alongside the bass-heavy moments like those in “Prophecy,” and “Undoing,” featuring kLL sMTH, SOLUS offers intimate moments in “For Now” and (a personal favorite) “Figured U Out.”
CharlestheFirst takes to Instagram to share a message about the vulnerability behind the work, saying:
so·lus / ˈsōləs /
Alone or unaccompanied (used especially as a stage direction)
This is a story of the lone journey, a pilgrimage to places previously unknown. A time of challenges that represent growth, and finally looking ones true self in the mirror. A story of solitude. A story of sunrises seen and felt. A story of holding onto love and letting love go. This is Solus, a gift from me to you. I am ecstatic to finally release this body of work, I hope you enjoy 🖤
Listen to the CharlestheFirst’s journey in sound here.
CharlestheFirst – SOLUS
Photo credit: Maya Tihtiyas