Gothic sounds from Charlotte Church 

click to enlarge Charlotte Church, who gained great fame singing classical music as child, is toiling on in her pop career as an adult. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Charlotte Church, who gained great fame singing classical music as child, is toiling on in her pop career as an adult.

Charlotte Church hopes her fans got the memo: She’s no longer the classical child prodigy whose 1998 “Voice of an Angel” debut sold more than 10 million copies.

Now 27, the Welsh diva and mother of two and her guitarist boyfriend Jonny Powell have created a new two-EP anthology, “One & Two,” in her garage studio.

She believed so much in the gothic sound on the self-produced, 4AD-lush tracks (such as “Glitterbombed” and “Beautiful Wreck”) she launched her own imprint, Alligator Wine, to release them. She designed the spooky cover art, too.

“I’m managing myself, as well, so the buck stops with me on all of the artistic decisions,” says Church, who follows her 2010 effort “Back to Scratch” by really starting from scratch.

On Thursday, she plays San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop — as the middle act on the billl.

“It’s a pretty difficult route, the one I’ve taken,” she says. “But it’s taken me until this point to actually figure out the music that moves me, and what suits my voice. But I’m also in this extraordinarily lucky position, where I’m able to do it entirely independently for the time being, which is incredible,” she says.

Church, who once performed barefoot, believes her voice has grown and evolved; she can rattle rafters she could never reach before.

In concert, she is backed by an all-Cardiff combo featuring two drummers, and she wears ballet flats for stomping an array of loop-delay pedals.

Church always keeps a jar of New Zealand manuka honey on hand.

“It’s got crazy qualities, so it’s great stuff to keep my voice lubricated, because some of these songs are harder than arias,” Church says. “But it’s been challenging, because a lot of people write me off before even giving the music a chance.”

For that, Church can partially blame Rupert Murdoch. At 13, she was invited to play the tabloid tycoon’s wedding, with the tacit understanding that his papers would smile favorably upon her from then on.

“But it didn’t really happen like that — I had nothing but negative press from all of his media outlets, as soon as they could, basically. I was apparently fair game when I was 14,” she says. Then they started hacking her cellphone.

But Church and her family won a 600,000-pound settlement from Murdoch’s News International for several voice mail-stolen stories. And to further clear her name, she gladly testified in Britain’s 2011-12 Leveson Inquiry regarding the hacking scandal.

“For a long time, I was viewed as just some dumb bitch of a celebrity because that’s what sold the most papers,” she says. “But that’s not what I’m like at all!”

About The Author

Tom Lanham

Pin It

Speaking of...

More by Tom Lanham

Latest in Pop Music & Jazz

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation