Rising Canadian singer-songwriter Chloe Charles

Singer-songwriter Chloe Charles has returned to Canada, on a wave of acclaim from her recent European tour, to launch her new album Break The Balance in Toronto.

Toronto artist is stepsister of musician Julian Lennon

Singer-songwriter Chloe Charles

Arts and Entertainment

8 years ago
Budding artist Chloe Charles is forging her own distinctive musical path, from her famous stepbrother Julian Lennon. The Toronto singer and guitarist talks to CBC about her new album, overcoming her shyness and her 'magical' time in Europe. 5:28

Singer-songwriter Chloe Charles has returned to Canada on a wave of acclaim and accolades from her recent European tour.

The Toronto artist and step-sister of musician Julian Lennon launched her new album Break The Balance in Toronto on Wednesday night.

The album's title refers to the notion of "accepting that life is very polarized and can be very extreme, [pulling you] in different directions. It's not always balanced, but in the end it balances out," she told CBC News.

The album represents her different moods, with both "cutesy, happy, silly songs and these dark, depressing, dramatic songs," Charles said.

"Everybody has both sides...[It's about] accepting that and accepting the uniqueness of things being unbalanced."

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Chloe Charles, second from left, returns to Canada after winning acclaim during recent appearances in Europe. (Alice Hopton/CBC)

Charles was just a teen when her father married Cynthia Lennon, Beatle John Lennon's first wife, and became stepfather to her son Julian.

Despite this family connection, Charles chose to strike out on her own musical path — combining diverse influences such as folk and pop. She began generating buzz with her debut EP Little Green Bud, released in 2010.

During her recent travels in Europe, the young vocalist and self-taught guitarist wrote the songs for Break The Balance.  Charles also earned rave reviews for her music and comparisons to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Bjork to Portishead.

Charles talked to CBC's Alice Hopton about overcoming her natural shyness to be a musician, why she chose the guitar and her "magical" experiences in Europe. She performs alongside cellist Mariel Gonzalez, violinist Kelly Lefaive, percussionist Mackenzie Longpre and bassist Adam Jenkins.