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Charlemagne Pro


Genres: Folk / Indie / Other

Location: Madison, WI

Stats: 257 fans / 19,675 plays / 28 plays today





6 tracks

Members: Carl Johns

Charlemagne is still very much Carl Johns, bringing his songs to life with help from friends. But since his previous release and SideCho debut, 2005's critically acclaimed Detour Allure (which garnered four stars from Uncut and was called an album that's "beautifully crafted, mid-tempo bliss with bouncy pop hooks and folk reassurances" from Harmonium Music), things have changed significantly in the musician's camp. No longer are albums pieced together in a Madison, WI-based home studio in between day jobs and life's obligations. And Charlemagne is less of a revolving door of sidemen and artistic hands. This year's Charlemagne model finds Johns with a better sense of musical permanency. He has since relocated to Brooklyn from Madison, WI (after a short stint in Philadelphia) and has established a backing ensemble with his East Coast-based bandmates Matt Ricchini and Michael Heinzer (also of Soft People). He has also reverted to his days of recording as a live unit (as he did in Noahjohn several years earlier), by implementing the same techniques with Charlemagne's latest album, We Can Build An Island. For example, instead of dialing in tracks on a computer, one layer at a time in a home-based studio over several months, Johns and his bandmates trekked out to Tucson, AZ's Wavelab Studio for two weeks to record and mix in a live and analog setting not to mention the change of scenery. "I liked the idea of going to the desert to record, being in an expanse with a lot of sky," Johns says. "I was first there in February 2006 touring for Detour and it was almost like being in another planet. I was really into the idea of a completely different locale for making this album and the desert seemed like the perfect contrast to urban surroundings of New York and Philly." The new environment allowed for a more concentrated effort, as the trio took full advantage of the two weeks to produce We Can Build An Island. Though Johns penned all of the tracks on the album, he credits his bandmates in providing their assistance on arrangements and production. With a melding of influences, including The Clean, Smog, The Velvet Underground, The Kinks and the Pixies, Charlemagne's latest effort still finds the act squarely in the realm of dirty pop songs, tinged with a bit of folk and psychedelia. We Can Build An Island deftly alludes to theme of prevailing after times of trauma and survival, in rebuilding a safe haven for oneself, touching upon a variety of situations, including death, divorce, dating, and life after turning 30. Many of these aforementioned changes came about after extensive touring for Detour Allure throughout the US, Canada and the UK. The time spent on the road became a transitional journey of sorts, which has landed at. With the album wrapped, Johns looks forward to the future of touring with his new bandmates. "I just wanted a consistent variable," he says. "I spent the bulk of 2006 switching live lineups, which was fun, but now I'm interested in the idea of playing with the same people over and over again."


  • Rawan said:
    Very pretty. Jan 04
  • Mike said:
    I heard "Your Scars" on my Belle and Sebastian station on Pandora and had to find out more about you guys. Just thought I'd drop you a "bravo". I had to dig to find you, but sadly, in our culture you always have to dig past the marketed hype to find genuine music by real musicians. Keep it up guys. Aug 22
  • .SHARISAVAGE. said:
    Very pretty. Feb 03
  • AcousticHunk said:
    yeah wisconsin-ites!! I love you guys...Thankx for pounding out some awesome tunes for me to hear! Apr 21
  • 9.10.1940 said:
    ey happy band!! I love your music, I imagnie that you know Belle and Sebastian. It\'s a bit similar to you. Any CD? I would buy it! Finally I would like you to listen to johny price, in purevolume. Thanks! Your music makes me feel really good! Jan 24
  • jasono said:
    you guys basically popped up to one of my all time favorite artists almost instantly after i heard you. play some shows in the bay area, california!! i would most definitely come, and i\'d bring all my friends!! Nov 19
  • MCSRocks said:
    whats the history/reason behind your name? Mar 30
  • Julliet said:
    aaaaaaaah. bliss. Mar 28
  • converter said:
    .the best band that youre not listening too! Dec 08

We Can Build An Island

Sep 11, 2007

Detour Allure

No release date

Sidecho Records


Folk / Indie / Other


Rock / Punk / Emo

The Only Children

Indie / Alternative / Folk Rock

The Spores

Rock / Indie

view all 12 artists



N Little Rock, AR


Seattle, WA


London, United Kingdom


Sydney, Australia


Middle Township, NJ


Birmingham, United Kingdom


Wachovia Bldg Vim, NC


United Kingdom

view all 257 fans