Pearl Charles knew from an early age — she’s been performing since she was five years old — that music would be an integral part of her life. She formed country duo The Driftwood Singers with Christian Lee Hutson when she was 18, singing and playing the guitar and autoharp. She joined garage rockers The Blank Tapes as a drummer a few years later, though she eventually decided to focus on her own songwriting. She released both her debut EP and LP in 2017 on Kanine Records and would go on to share the stage with artists like Best Coast, Sunflower Bean, Mac DeMarco, and Conor Oberst.

Winding her way through various strains of old-timey folk music, garage rock, country, and soft rock, she has continually found herself drawn to crisp pop melodies and choruses that cover your heart in honey. She is set to release her latest record Magic Mirror on January 15 through Kanine Records. For our first glimpse into the record, she has shared the beautifully composed and elegiac “What I Need”, saying: 

Have you ever stuck with something long after it was time to let go? What I Need explores this choice in terms of a breakup, though it could really be applied to any situation that is no longer serving you. It’s the age-old story of wanting to stay in a comfortable relationship, but knowing that you have to move on for personal growth, and the fear and uncertainty that being alone will bring, even though it’s for the best. Sonically, The Pointer Sisters covering Conway Twitty was definitely a major reference for me on this track.”

The song is a breezy bit of bucolic pop: awash in the kind of countripolitan grace you might get if Kacey Musgraves ever jammed with Lambchop. Recalling the glorious pop arrangements of Linda Ronstadt or a slightly twangier version of Fleetwood Mac, “What I Need” is a swaying, affecting echo of personal reflection and growth.

Pearl Charles’ new album Magic Mirror is due out January 15 via Kanine Records. You can follow Charles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.