Charlie Burg Is Transforming Literary Inspiration Into Stunning Music [NEW ARTIST DISCOVERY]

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READ: Indie phenom Charlie Burg is joining Ashe on her Ones To Watch–presented North American tour this fall!

In what I like to imagine is a secluded apartment somewhere in Syracuse, New York, Charlie Burg is straddling an acoustic guitar and hunched over his laptop, breathing life into what is to be the latest chapter in a connected, storied music-filled world. Over the course of the odd last year, the New York-based artist, by way of Metro Detroit, Michigan, has proven himself as an artist with an enveloping musical breadth. From the warmth of soul, the intricacies of funk, the joy of left-of-center pop, to the art of jazz-inspired spoken word breakdowns, Burg’s varied voice and vision is one worth getting lost in.

One, Violet, Two, Moonlight, and Three, Fever. The series of words, which chronicle Burg’s series of EPs thus far, also doubles as loosely-strewn together poetry. Taken from a collection of Ralph Waldo Emerson essays, gifted to him by his father, Burg transformed the literary inspiration into three distinctive sonic works. 

While each EP has its own unique sound, they are arguably enjoyed best as the parts of a larger, ever-evolving whole. For that is what is most astounding about this young New York talent–an innate ability for crafting projects that much to our delight unfurl to reveal a road rife with unexpected twists and turns.

Burg’s penchant for the unexpected and novel is heard throughout his latest EP, Three, Fever. Released at the start of 2019, the eight-song collection unfolds over a succinct 25 minutes, but the project feels veritably expansive. With no reservations, Burg opens the track with “Fever” and wastes no time in illustrating why the world of Three, Fever is one worth delving into headfirst. The seemingly straightforward folksy acoustic, bedroom-pop evoking number soon divulges a wealth of varied musical influence, as if to expose Burg as an artist who cannot contain his clear love for his craft.

Then, as if to make good on that promise, Burg jumps into the dance-inducing groove “To Dance Is To Love” before fully committing to a nu-disco and hip-hop crossover vibe in “Moog Jam 1.” Burg and Three, Fever defy simply classification, but the single piece that perhaps does the best in seeking to explain his fondness for the novel is the only song on the EP that, technically speaking, is not a song. “when u were u {interlude),” the sixth track on Burg’s idiosyncratic EP, is a jazzy breakdown permeated by field recordings of people sharing moments when they felt most like their true selves, and it is breathtaking.

For an EP that calls forth comparisons to everything from HONNE to Toro y moi, the leftfield departure of “when u were u (interlude)” stands out at as a remarkable moment on an already remarkable EP. With a song that would be commonplace on an album by The Books, Burg proves himself as an artist not simply pulled by different whims or passing interests, but as one whose heart lies in transforming genuine human experience into equally complex music. 

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