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It is with great pleasure that today, March 5th of 2021, Electric Hawk presents our deep dive into Solus–an album by CharlestheFirst. On this journey through sound, CharlestheFirst bears his soul and makes an undeniable statement that will forever be remembered. Solus serves as both a summary of what makes CTF great, and a precursor to just how high he’s capable of setting the bar. Because this release is more than just music, it’s a moment. And moments like these are the ones that make you realize how truly lucky we are to share this space with dance music.

When Sound Transmutes into Experience.

Since the announcement of Solus in October 2020, the entire Electric Hawk team has been on the edge of their seat. With the announcement came “Out of The Dark.” The first single teasing Solus sent waves throughout the community and heightened our anticipation exponentially. It was a genre-bending, soul-stirring track that left us wanting more. And thankfully, that’s exactly what we got.

Shortly after the release of “Out of the Dark” came a music-dump from CTF’s side-project hawk, and news of a possible collaboration EP with Of The Trees. He announced the insane list of features on his forthcoming album. And he even had the audacity to tease a post-Solus EP before giving us a release date. Then, after setting our publication team on fire, he released the second single off of Solus, “For Now.” A poetic masterpiece tugging firmly on the heartstrings of us all.

All of this leading to here and now. A trail of bread-crumbs leading to an album we were certain would be monumental. And after sitting with this project for almost a week, monumental is most definitely an understatement.

History in the Making.

Solus is a charismatic display of talent and progress. In roughly 40 minutes, CharlestheFirst obliterates all expectations. Thirteen tracks ebb and flow between love, seclusion, comfort, and pain. Each track while significant on its own, together tell a narrative raw in nature. And it’s a fitting full-length predecessor to CTF’s iconic debut album The Ascent.

Upon pressing play, CharlestheFirst takes your soul hostage into his sonic landscape. The audible architect constructs intricate musical utopias that are borderline sentient, and impossible to replicate. CTF is a true story-teller. And one of his many talents is his ability to tell his story in such a unique, and captivating way.

On one hand, you’ll hear tracks like “Learning to Pray,” or the interlude, “Searching.” Songs that envelope you in a meditative blanket while painting a picture of comfort. They leave the listener swooning with an overwhelming sense of bliss. And hypnotize his audience with an intoxicating effect.

On the other hand, you’ll hear tunes like “Prophecy” or his collaboration with Potions, “Foreboding Feeling.” Tracks that send shivers down your spine, and corrupt your psyche with wobbly basslines and eerie textures. From this narrative erupts chaos, and out of this chaos comes some of the most forward-thinking experimental music I’ve ever heard.

I feel that this album stands alone in my discography because of how much I dove into its creation. I really lived it and loved the process. So many important changes happened to me over the course of it being written.

CharlestheFirst on Solus

Solus is a Masterful Personification of CharlestheFirst.

The vulnerability on display in every story he tells is vital to that emotional connection we share when diving into a CTF soundscape. This captivating journey into the diverse sounds of his Soul is truly a privilege to us all. And it’s important to recognize this privilege now in order to give this talented artist the support he deserves.

Look, I could go on and on about how filthy the kLL sMTH collab is. I could go into unnecessary detail about how the tsuruda collab has that “smoking-a-joint-sipping-shroom-tea-in-a-psychedelic-pool-room” type beat. I could even embarrassingly admit the number of times I’ve cried to “Clarity.” But I’d much rather you experience this moment on your own.

Draw your own conclusions. Feel your own feelings. But treasure your presence in this space and time. Because Solus is certainly a step forward in our space of electronic music.

Listen to Solus by CharlestheFirst below, and support your favorite creatives:

Keep Up with CharlestheFirst:
Soundcloud | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Bandcamp | Website | Spotify

Looking for new music? Keep up with our weekly Spotify Playlist, Fresh Hunts. Updated every Friday with all the latest releases. Whether it’s the newest drops from CharlestheFirst, all your favorite artists, some old-school, or underground…we just want you to hear it.

March is Women’s History Month. This is an opportunity to celebrate successes and acknowledge struggles women face across the world. If you’re looking to support organizations that educate on women’s health, gender/workplace equity, and more, then look here.

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Hayden McGuigan

It's always about the music.