Charlotte Sometimes to Hit Cambridge's Lizard Lounge
Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 23:05
Charlotte Sometimes, a singer-songwriter based out of New York who has released one album and four EPs, will perform at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge on the night of May 4.
“I’ve been to Boston many times playing,” Sometimes said. “This should be a really fun show.”
Sometimes, age 25, has had a relationship with the Boston area ever since she was diagnosed with condylar resorption at age 14, a disease that threatened her jaw and ability to sing. Sometimes had reconstructive surgery on her jaw at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“I have a really great relationship with Boston and have a lot of respect for it,” she said. “It’s always really great to be there.”
Born in Wall Township, N.J., Sometimes began writing poetry at a very young age. When she started singing her poetry, her father encouraged her to write songs.
“I just always found myself drawn to music,” Sometimes said. “I am so crazy and I have so many emotions. It’s easy for me to be an artist, I guess.” She cites Roy Orbison and Death Cab for Cutie among her musical influences.
Sometimes recently performed at Penn State University on Apr. 19, and is planning to take part in the Vans Warped Tour this upcoming summer, which she also participated in during the summer of 2008, just after the release of her first full-length album, Waves and the Both of Us.
Sometimes also participated in the second season of NBC’s The Voice, when she was on Blake Shelton’s team and was eliminated from the competition after the first live round. Although she was hesitant at first to compete in a reality show, Sometimes now considers the experience to have been enjoyable and educational.
“It was such an amazing experience, I am so grateful for it,” she said. “I learned so much about being an artist.” Sometimes added that her mentors on the show were “humble and gracious and such good people.”
In her years active as an artist, her music has been hard to categorize—the labels of pop artist and alternative rocker have both been attached to her.
“There are definitely elements of dark pop,” Sometimes said of her music. “There’s a little jazz in there. I would probably say I’m a bit of alternative pop.”
Sometimes said that her songwriting process is often built around an emotion or a specific circumstance, adding that she expands upon experiences to create a song.
Sometimes described herself as having been a rather “angsty teenager,” one made only more so by her experiences with hospitalization while struggling with condylar resorption.
“I wrote some of my best material when my jaw was wired shut. I was just writing constantly,” Sometimes said. “I kind of admire my younger self more than I admire my elder self. I had a really great sense of purpose when I was a young woman. Nothing was going to stand in my way.”
This willpower is evident in her use of a stage name, as well, which she said allows her to create a character that is stronger than who she might be in her actual life. Born Jessica Charlotte Poland, Sometimes named herself after Penelope Farmer’s 1969 children’s book Charlotte Sometimes.
“I was really just kind of drawn to this book,” Sometimes said. “It’s about a girl that gets trapped in time and has to be somebody else.”
“I feel like as a person, there are two people inside of us—a representative, and who we really are,” Sometimes said. “For me, Charlotte Sometimes is my representative, and the person I wish I could be most of the time. I am able to leave my life behind and go into Charlotte Sometimes if I need to.”
Sometimes described the person embodied by her stage name as a headstrong, willful woman.
Underneath her representative stage name, however, Sometimes noted that she is not as headstrong as the person she becomes on stage.
Beneath the exterior, Sometimes said that there is another layer to her that takes the name with which she was born: “Her name is Jessie.”