By: Anand Harsh
For us at The Untz, we've never doubted that Charles Ingalls would break big. It's been a foregone conclusion. Not “if” but “when.”
That being said, in a scene dominated by over-the-top production, headbanging crowds, and a tendency to favor flash over substance, we knew CharlestheFirst would be waging an uphill battle. His muted beats, in-the-cut grooves, and subtle, brooding pieces stand in stark contrast to many of the artists with whom he's paired on club dates and festival side stages.
But his latest EP, The Reach, serves to separate him from thoughtless banging beats and the arms race of weirder, wubbier tracks. It stands apart as a grand statement of just how far Ingalls has taken his deep, evocative musings and turned them into a monolith of beauty and artistic certainty.
Plunge into the opener, “Kirra,” an instantly you'll see what I mean. The depth is staggering. He's not trying to club his fans over the head and then drag them back to his Facebook group. It's a plea to dig deep and revel in the emotional potential of a truly well-crafted electronic song. Cuts like “Prophet,” “Turquoise River,” and “Meadows” give The Reach so much more cohesion than last year's Roots and Running Through the Forest, which already gave us a glimmer of what was Ingalls was all about.
By the time you reach the closer, “Beacon,” interestingly enough, his 'heaviest' tune of the pack, you discover what we've been saying for a couple years now: CharlestheFirst's time has come.
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