With their harmonic blend of high-octane pop and crystalline, melodic punk, self-proclaimed “Anarcutie” DIY punks Charmpit are exactly what we need a dose of in our lives right now. As they gear up to release their long-awaited debut album, the band shares five tracks have influenced them.
Formed from DIY Space for London’s ‘First Timer’s’ project, Charmpit have truly gone from strength to strength since their inception in 2016. Their upcoming debut Cause A Stir sees them fully hone their potent blend of exuberant femme power, frank and playful lyrics, and aptitude for crafting the most infectious, resonant riffs. ‘Wild Wild Westfield’, the first single from the record, fully encapsulates this irresistible vitality at Charmpit’s core, and ‘Sophomore Year’ continues in this vein. Get ready for the album to drop in few weeks as the four-piece are very much here to cause a stir.
From Josie & The Pussycats to Bright Eyes, get to know Charmpit In Five…
Josie & The Pussycats – 3 Small Words (Rhi & Anne Marie)
Rhi: Josie and the Pussycats (2001) was the first depiction of a band trying to make it that I could see myself in and I was obsessed from the moment my sister and I brought it home from Blockbuster. Just thinking about that scene of the band climbing up the charts in their shimmery pleather bell-bottoms and platforms always gives me so much energy.
AM: This movie is so integral to who I am, it formed 11-year-old-me’s politics and personality! The queer anti-capitalist critique! The earnest lyrics! Best Femmes Forever to surthrive the bullshit! That’s fucking CHARMPIT.
Rhi: I listened to the soundtrack so much I even knew the words to the Du Jour songs. I definitely think that falling in love with a fictional pop band with women playing the instruments lead me to look for the real thing, so I spent much of the 2000’s listening to The Donnas, Vivian Girls, Rilo Kiley and Tegan & Sarah.
AM: I use this soundtrack to flick my brain switch from “I’m worthless…” to “Purpose and pizzazz!” Especially with “You’re A Star” on repeat. Crank it up / Let’s mess around / Be who you are / Cause you’re a star. Start a band! Check out First Timers Fest.
Go-Go’s – This Town (Rhi)
A Go-Go’s show was the first show I ever went to, I was 16 and my 2 BFFs and I watched from the wave pool of one of those humongous Las Vegas hotels. The mid 2000s were a big resurgence moment for The Go-Gos, they were central to the 13 Going on 30 soundtrack, Hilary Duff covered them, and This Town was the theme song of Rich Girls (an MTV reality show that could only have dared to exist before the 2008 crash). This Town is dark and threatening with killer hooks, it’s dramatic and spooky 80’s pop. I was also obsessed with Phantom of the Opera at the time so that was just a vibe I was craving I guess. The Go-Gos were a bunch of punks who learned how to play their instruments as they went along so they could have fun and make eternal pop bops. They were funny and bratty and had great style, what’s not to love?
Tacocat – I Hate the Weekend (Estella)
This song’s about middle class office worker types who leave their 9-5 on a Friday, turn into entitled brats for the weekend, and treat hospitality staff like shit. I love Tacocat because they turn relatable stuff like this into poppy, punk rock earworms. I’m a big fan of the reverby, surfy guitar sound heard in a lot of their records, and this was something that influenced me when recording with CHARMPIT.
Bright Eyes – Bowl of Oranges (Anne Marie)
After cheerleading practice, my friend Hayden & I would lie in her bed, stare at the ceiling, and listen to Lifted on vinyl (stolen from her emo sister and carefully replaced). Before 2004 I only had church music, pop music and Bob Dylan, now Bowl of Oranges became my own Apostles’ Creed. I couldn’t verbalise my feelings…and Conor Oberst was in my brain?! Bright Eyes became my tongue. I would scream “He’s the poet of our generation!” into the Orange County void. And when crying don’t help / You can’t compose yourself / It’s best to compose a poem / An honest verse of longing / Or a simple song of hope. And that’s why Rhi & I formed CHARMPIT. Lyrics come first for us. CHARMPIT helps me not neglect myself.
Dillinger Four – Fired-Side Chat (Alex)
D4 are pop-punk legends. They formed because they wanted to play catchy music that was also political. D4 don’t hit you with slogans but sing about everyday life/politics with lots of passion, wit and fun. I feel like we have some similarity there. They’re also the masters of transition and switching things up, so when we wanted to change direction on the outro for “Princess Video” (our next single), we listened to them for inspiration.
‘Cause A Stir’ is out on Specialist Subject Records on April 3rd. Pre-order here.
Photo credit: Milo Gough