Shares video for “Meet Lou’s Needs”
Taken from album My Idol Family
Charles Howl shares the self-directed video for “Meet Lou’s Needs”, the stand-out track from his new album My Idol Family. The song whirls with atmospheric organs and catchy melodic hooks with an off-kilter pop perspective. A nod to The Velvet Underground’s vast influence, it takes a wry look at how so many people in music try to emulate everything about Lou Reed, from his music to his attitude, look and drug habits. As Howl elaborates; “I love Lou Reed but I don’t want to see shit imitations of him every time I go see a show or after party.”
Charles Howl is the musical moniker of musician and filmmaker, Danny Nellis, who has made music videos for the likes of Virginia Wing, Let’s Wrestle, Cymbals and the most recent series of videos for Moshi Moshi’s Wesley Patrick Gonzales.
Having played with The Proper Ornaments, he went on to create a completely different aesthetic with his solo project Charles Howl. More akin to lush, orchestral pop, soundtracks and post-punk, the album My Idol Family is a hugely ambitious, but gloriously accessible, slice of well crafted pop music. Record shop Sister Ray voted it one of their albums of the year 2017. The album was recorded in Amsterdam, where Howl had spent time as a teenage runaway. It was recorded in a reggae studio called Weesp in the outskirts of the city which had an AirB&B room attached to him, so he decamped there for a month whilst letting out his room in London.
Howl’s approach to recording was inspired by an interview with Brian Eno, where he talks about a belief that you can get any good sounding recording out of any half decent equipment. Rather than being a technology snob, it’s more about the process, where it is recorded and the mindset that creates. As Howl explains; “Making a record is meant to be fun. You’re meant to be off in this secret place from the rest of the working world. I can’t see spending ten grand to sit in a plush London studio down the road from where you live with some guy who used to be in a famous 80s band twiddling the knobs and charging you out the arse. I watch a lot of Kitchen Nightmares and am I always in awe of Gordon Ramsay’s approach to running a restaurant.” At times rapturously melodic and others jarringly off-kilter, there’s a real variety of sounds on My Idol Family. He draws on eclectic influences to embrace a wider scope, thus creating something that sounds refreshingly unique and remarkably modern.
There are plans afoot for a special concert in Paris featuring a string quartet and more UK shows later this year.