One to watch: Charlotte Day Wilson | Pop and rock

A uniquely atmospheric brand of R&B has been coming out of Toronto over the past decade. Harnessing jazz instrumentals, introspective lyricism and intricate vocals, local artists such as Daniel Caesar, BadBadNotGood and Mustafa have all released ambitious projects that put a fresh spin on the genre.

Carving her own creative path within this community is Canadian producer and singer Charlotte Day Wilson. Pairing subtle electronics with the low-register intimacy of her voice and a storytelling sensibility, Wilson made her mark with the crawling organ lines and skittering beat of 2016 single Work before going on to independently release her debut record, Alpha, in 2021. Yet it’s with the release of her second album, Cyan Blue, on major label XL, that Wilson finds new confidence, breaking out of the Toronto scene with a record of immense feeling and depth.

Across 13 tracks, Wilson exposes her vulnerability on compositions such as the reverb-laden piano ballad New Day, where she considers parenthood as a queer woman, as well as indulging in guitar-strumming romance on My Way and spare, bass-laden melodies on Forever. “My thesis was just I want to have fun making it,” Wilson told Clash magazine. “There is motion and I’m also letting my hair down. I’m free.”

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