New Single: Love Song Out Now

CHARLESCANTBREATHE is a queer-fronted indie-rock project based in London, ‘ We are rockers exploring navigating our 20s in what seems to be a never ending series of unprecedented times’.

Their sound is cheeky and expressive; combining funky riffs with an essence of early 2000s indie pop. Front-person, Charlie Raph- ael-Campbell, won Abbey Road x adidas’ emerging song- writers competition in 2021, giving them the opportunity to record two songs at Abbey Road. This ongoing partnership resulted in CHARLESCANTBREATHE playing at adidas Carnaby Street for Record Store Day 2022.

1: For someone that is yet to discover ‘’ CHARLESCANTBREATHE’ and would you describe yourself.

CHARLESCANTBREATHE combines sentimental song writing with indie-inspired riffs, a sprinkle of funk, a side of grunge, and a musical approach which can be described as ‘emotionally charged but with a sense of humour.’ Lead singer/songwriter Charles is a Sagittarius, so brings that classic Sagittarius optimism to the music. Fans can expect to dance, cry, make-out, reminisce, and rock out to our songs; we want to encompass all life experiences into our music! The full human spectrum!

2. What inspired you as an artist?

Growing up, lead singer Charles was heavily bullied and outcast during their teenage life. Spending a large amount of time of their formative years recovering from major spinal surgery, Charles often felt as if their experience was incredibly different than those around them. Growing up a disabled, undiagnosed ADHD, Queer musician, really shapes your experience in life a little differently. The lens at which Charles sees the world is a big inspiration to our music and vision; we are about championing the underdog, being honest with your emotions and experiences, seeing the inherent joy in life, and exploring emotional themes through using humour. We inspired by Nirvana, Oasis, beabadoobee, Amy Winehouse, Jeff Buckley, and the iconic song writing of Frank Ocean.

3. What is your process for preparing to perform live? Do you have any Diva demands?

Each of us have a different approach to gig day. While Charles and Lucy will usually meet up and spend the day zoning in and getting ready together, the boys (Owen and Cam) will turn up with their gear and get straight to it. We love spending time together as a band before the gig, and often decide our set-list at the venue, as we enjoy scouting out the vibes. We are not that picky. However, bonus points for the venue if there is a beer garden and a green room that we can chill in. While we love the stage, we also love our own space.

4. Where do you feel you fit into the music landscape?

We are definitely in this new generation of indie rock, and as a Queer-fronted band, we definitely fit into the Queer landscape and subculture.

5: What are your favourite musical genres, and are there any you Dislike?

We honestly love everything!! All of us have such different tastes in music, with Charles being a big fan of RnB, Cam being a big fan of country, Lucy being a big fan of indie rock, and Owen a big fan of punk rock. Our diverse tastes definitely shape the eclectic nature of the bands songs and sound.

6. Where did the name come from?

When Charles (founder and lead singer/bassist) was 13, they had a spinal operation for a condition called Scoliosis. Bound in a full body brace for 23 hours a day, 6 months straight, Charles found it hard to breathe as the brace was so restrictive. It was during their recovery that they started to make music, and out of the pain, CHARLESCANTBREATHE was born.

7 What would you say is your greatest strength as an Artist?

We are super determined, and fully believe in our talents and ethos as a group; we all really believe in our art and in one another. I believe staying focused and determined on your craft, believing in yourself, and always working to better yourself as a human and as an artist is super important. Our belief, drive, musical talents, and our ability to create together, is definitely our biggest strength. We all use our strengths to create an uplifting, supportive, and determined community for each other. We are also really good friends, and have so much love, appreciation, and respect for one another. You can really feel that love in our music and in our live sets. We are each others biggest fans.

8. What would you say is your greatest weakness as an Artist?

A few of us in CHARLESCANTBREATHE are neurodivergent to some degree, and sometimes that can make it challenging to navigate such a brutal, fast paced, loud industry. Sometimes it can feel as if we aren’t moving as fast as we’d like. Charles has severe ADHD, and sometimes, as the front person, this can be debilitating with the amount of perceived responsibility, especially as the face of the band; they spend a lot of time creating TikToks and promoting our music. However, people with ADHD are prone to chronic procrastination and burnout, so sometimes the journey can feel a little inconsistent. But we have such a close relationship with one another, that we are able to support each other through anything.

 9.  What can fans expect from your debut single ‘Lovesong  ’.

Fans can expect a daring, unpredictable love song which touches on reminiscing on the past, sensuality, the one that got away, and a curiously outrageous exploration of sex and love through a genderqueer lens. Love Song merges these human instincts, with the crazy psychedelic nature of the Universe and the cosmos, and is about realising that love ultimately comes from within. Expect heavy grunge riffs in the chorus, and reflective, jangly, indie riffs in the verses.

 10. What music artist would you say have influenced your work?

We are super inspired the attitude of the Grunge movement in the 90s, specifically Nirvana and Hole. These two bands formed the basis for CHARLESCANTBREATHE as Charles was listening to them all the time when they started writing. We are also inspired by jazz, blues, and funk as a whole sound, and love incorporating that into our music. Jeff Buckley’s vocals and composition skills definitely shape how we write music, as well as the honesty of Amy Winehouse. We also incorporate the humour of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

11. Who would you most like to collaborate with artistically?

We would love to work with beabadoobee, as she encompasses everything that CHARLESCANTBREATHE also encompass: a modern indie sound with a sprinkle of grunge, and a side of sexuality and fun. We would also love to open for Red Hot Chili Peppers one day, as we think the gig would be so much fun.

12. What was your worst performance?

There was a gig we did in a windowless basement in Camden which looked like it hadn’t been visited in over 20 years. The crowd was hostile, the mics kept electrocuting Charles, and some of the other artists on the bill were really aggressive. This, mixed with the fact that the locals in the pub were being super hostile, and some of the staff made mildly sexist comments, resulted in our set not being the best it could be. Performances are really shaped by the energy of the night and in the venue, and when things aren’t going right, that can really come out in the gig.

13: What was the most difficult obstacle you have ever faced and how did you overcome it?

Charles here. My spinal surgery and the complications that come with it is definitely the most difficult obstacle. Over ten years on, I still experience daily debilitating pain which often leaves me too tired to do anything. The surgery left me with permanent fractures in my lower back, arthritis, and full-body chronic pain. This has sometimes meant I’ve had to turn down gigs and opportunities, and often means that I must have a day off after a gig if I’ve carried my own equipment or had a particularly head-bangy set. Overcoming this was really about realising the power of the mind, which was helped by my practice of Buddism. I adopted the mindset of ‘suffering is a choice, pain is inevitable,’ and channelled my pain into making music. The music really allowed me to overcome it.

14: What is your creative process when making music. Do you work with others or is there just you?

Charles used to write on their own in their bedroom, and would often visit Owen or Cam for a little jam/song writing session. Each musician comes to the studio with their own ideas, which they present to the band, we usually have a jam and see what comes from it. Most of the time when writing alone, the songs come to Charles in the middle of the night. We have started to write more as a band, with Charles and Cam meeting up regularly to share and shape ideas. Charles likes to say that songs fall out of you, and its up to you to catch them when they do!

15 Where do you see your musical career in 10 years?

We truly believe that we will be touring the world and expanding the CHARLESCANTBREATHE empire. We see live sessions, festival slots, and loads more music! We are setting out to be the voice of the unheard, the misunderstood, the quirky, and the brave. We just need to further connect with them!