REVIEW: Charlie Threads, Palm Trees In Graveyards

Since his debut mixtape Incognito, which dropped late 2014, the 18-year-old Melbourne MC Charlie Threads has been performing and touring with his teammates from 90’s RD, Baro, Marcus, Allday and more. It’s a wonder he was able to find time to get back in the studio to record his follow up, Palm Trees In Graveyards, which dropped today.

When I first put Charlie Threads’ Palm Trees In Graveyards on, I was immediately taken aback. I’ve realised I’m guilty of falling behind on Australian hip-hop. In the months leading up to Obese Records closing, all I have been playing is old-school Aussie hip-hop, like Pegz, Bias B and Brad Strut. But Charlie’s new mixtape has reignited that love I have for exploring new local rappers.

Right from the start, Charlie comes out with slick rhymes; “I guess you caught me off guard again/ Charlie in a cardigan throwing parties in parliament,” and carries it through the whole opening track Introduction Day, delivering one of the freshest local verses this year.

The young MC has developed a lot since his debut mixtape. Palm Trees In Graveyards has a great mix of hard hitting rap tracks and soulful tracks with a blissfully chilled atmosphere. It is no surprise that Charlie takes inspiration from Earl Sweatshirt, and if I didn’t know better I might say it was Earl on tracks like Put Em Up (Fuckin Anthem) and Way Out.

The harder hitting tracks are largely produced by Mitch Graunke, who does a lot of work with fellow 90’s RD rappers, Allday and Baro. The mixtape also features production from John Batman, chill.collins, EN Tokyo, Mounika, Tom Misch, and Gadget.

In a recent interview, Charlie explained that the project “supposed to feel like a day dream, drifting in and out of a consciousness. The graveyards represents my darker music (Incognito) and the palm trees represent a new found love for brighter instrumentation and subject matter that you will get a taste of in the tape.”

Charlie draws on many of his journeys and the lessons he has learned as he transitioned from ‘rapper’ into that coveted term, ‘artist’. He is now fully aware of what it takes to be one, and he’s beginning by taking the negative aspects of life and turning them into amazing music. One of the most beautiful songs is Sink, a track which takes the listener on a very real journey through some of his own life’s hardships.

This theme is further reiterated on one of my favourite tracks – the Tom Misch produced ePiffany, which reminds me of Muph and Plutonic Lab’s 2004 track Moment of Clarity. “I don’t wanna be cool, I just wanna be me.”

The mixtape finishes just as it starts, with Charlie spitting fresh rhymes and hinting that perhaps, “you gonna see us on a world tour.” Stream the rest of the album below and be sure to get yourself a copy via Charlie Threads’ Bandcamp.

Image: Supplied