Charlie Moses (aka Carolyn Grigar) has been “writing” since she was 3, at that time in the form of picture stories. As time has passed, she’s honed her word-craft and now, with her EP How To Ask For Help, her position as singer-songwriter has come to fruition. These four tracks, a collaboration with bdRm (aka Jeremy Wilkins of Hawks Do Not Share, among many other projects) are powerful, soulful, sincere and archetypal of many of our human emotions, with a beautiful result. They are filled with honesty and power, aspects the her songwriting she holds very dear.
The opening track “Done Deal” eloquently tells the story of a parasitic relationship that sucks the life out of the person being used up. She sings, “You took and you took and you took, ’til I had nothing left to give to you or anyone…” and goes on to tell that story in a real and very palpable way, eventually leading to the person being used, “…With nothing left, there’s nothing to take. Oh, I’m worthless to you…”
On track 2, “In My Bones,” she tells the next “chapter” of the story of how an abusive and parasitic relation can leave a person and shows a way through that pain. She sings, “…I’m just trying to move along//I asked for help and came out stronger//And I can feel it in my bones,” telling us a story of redemption after being used in a relationship.
My favorite track ends up being the one that she made a video for, “Growing Old (Judy),” a very short but very powerful track about the rather abrupt loss of a loved one, a loss that occurs despite the lack of preparation for it by the person experiencing the loss. This track has a video presentation that was created for it, which eerily captures the feeling of the music.
The four tracks are done beautifully in very evocative free verse, featuring Carolyn’s voice backed by Jeremy’s piano, Rhodes, synthesizers, drum programming, and musical arrangements, which compliment the stories and vocals here so well. Carolyn is all about collaboration, as Alec Yeager of We Are Parasols fills in on loops and drum programming to develop a rich and dramatic four-song nugget that is really worth mining.
(Look for it, along with the rest of Charlie Moses’ discography, on Bandcamp. How To Ask For Help is currently available digitally and in limited edition split cassette form with the latest release by Hawks Do Not Share, Polaris. https://charliemoses.bandcamp.com/album/how-to-ask-for-help)