With “Donnie,” Charm Take the Scenic Route to Stylistic Fusion

For about as long as they’ve been releasing music, North Carolina indie rockers Charm have been documenting it in sometimes-candid, homemade music videos. For the latest, they brought a Super 8 camera with them on their travels through Cherokee and their hometown of Greensboro–just hanging out with friends and taking in the sights.

That became the visual backdrop for “Donnie,” the lead single from their upcoming EP, Sugar Mountain. According to band member and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Justice, they stumbled into the project unintentionally. “Our plan was to work on our first LP. Then we wrote these three songs and realized they had a different feeling than the record we were trying to write,” he says. “We decided to finish these up and put out an EP.”

On the surface, “Donnie” may not sound so far from the surfy sound of their 2019 EP, Super Style. It’s a dreamy tune built on the kind of catchy, reverbed licks they’ve traded in before. But give the organ tones a closer listen, and you can hear them dabbling in new textures–something like the sonic equivalent of those babbling streams and rolling forest hills that give the video its vistas.

“Being from North Carolina, we grew up on a lot of country music, and it feels good to be able to fuse it with our own style,” says Justice. “‘Donnie’ was the first song we wrote that had this feeling, and it definitely propelled us into writing this EP.”

Here, the effect is pretty subtle, but the rest of the EP takes bigger swings, incorporating more southern rock-styled guitar and piano layers. You can check out the video for “Donnie” below and look for Sugar Mountain coming July 31 via Acrobat Unstable.

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