An exploration of misplaced desire and all-consuming romantic obsession, told through a series of beautifully constructed leftfield pop songs. La Porte, the second studio album by Charlotte Kouklia aka Charlène Darling, finds the artist and her group building a self-contained musical world via French and English language vocals, and a minimalist backing of guitar, organ, bass and drums.
At times recalling the feminist post-punk of The Raincoats, the avant songcraft of Brigitte Fontaine, or the psychedelic vignettes of Cate Le Bon, in truth Charlène Darling sounds like herself. The arrangements are playfully experimental, dubbed out percussion bubbling over the stripped back instrumentation, or rough tape edits disrupting lush harmonies, but never losing sight of the earworm hooks that make these songs so addictively listenable. Step through the door and walk right in.
Charlotte is one quarter of the band Rose Mercie. After a beguiling series of DIY tape and CD-R releases, her first widely distributed solo album, Saint-Guidon, was released in 2019.