Charlie Blasberg and The Immortals continue their fine form on the new EP “Stop & Go”


I’ve been lucky to see a few good shows in the last couple of years. Warmduscher, Florry, and Water From Your Eyes to name a few. But the best show I saw was Charlie Blasberg and The Immortals at the Bowery Electric for the release show of their 2022 EP, Whistling In The Wind.

It was a raucous atmosphere, the musicians were tight, Charlie led the group with gusto, and the material went over fantastically live. I’ve been hyped up about Charlie’s next release ever since that night. Well, fast forward a bit over a year, and Charlie has dropped his new EP, Stop & Go. He and the band played through the material at a recent release party for the EP at Bowery Electric in Lower Manhattan, which by all accounts was a smashing success.

The project itself is another great step forward by Charlie and the rest of the Immortals.  Aided again by talented vocalists Chris Ritter and Matilda McFall (who both appeared extensively on Whistling In The Wind), Stop & Go is the Immortals at their best. Charlie was nice enough to have a little chat with me over the phone a couple of days after the band’s show at Bowery Electric.

I was curious to pick his brain a bit about the project, which, while clocking in at only 5 songs, packs a big-time sonic punch. Charlie’s a multiinstrumentalist (and producer), but he grew up playing the piano and crafts a lot of his material on the instrument, so it’s to be expected that the material will often, as Charlie puts it, have a  “funky keyboard jams” vibe and element to it.

The Immortals pull this off excitingly, but they’re no one trick pony; they’ve got plenty more in their arsenal. As Charlie noted when we spoke, he and the band have been eager to incorporate new elements and inspirations into their sound. The album opener “Opposites Attracting”, for example, has stabs of Latin rhythms, salsa grooves, and jazzy polyrhythmic layers evident in the outro. The song itself is a fun, poignant piece driven by horn piercings and that unmistakable Blasberg piano touch.

Lyrically it’s like a snapshot into New York City’s fast life, with characters popping up left and right. Stop & Go in general is filled with different characters dealing with going, leaving, staying, thinking of going, needing to go… motion. Needing to get from one place in life to another, physically or metaphorically. New York City itself, with its constant, frantic motion.

In chatting with Charlie, it became clear that the project was a labor of love. “Taking It Easy”, which features Matilda McFall, was nearly 4 years in the making. It went through several different iterations and attempts. There’s a hip-hop groove to the drums and a swirling vocal that evokes a call-and-response element that adds another dimension to the Immortals’ sound. It’s got themes of stasis and stagnancy in the lyrics, and, like the whole EP, gets at the idea of motion. “Eve of Departure”, he says, was the toughest to record, with lots of different things going on in the arrangement. Lyrically, it’s the song that’s most starkly about motion.

“Someday,” the fantastic final song, has Charlie triple layering his vocals, resulting in a cool, icy sound that sits big in the mix. Organ stabs punctuate the breakneck drumbeat to create a propulsion that you can’t help but get swept up in. The narrator is confident and hopeful about the future(?), and, thematically, it ties the project together well. It’s a call to action of sorts.

There are many lyrical references to New York throughout the EP, so I asked Charlie about how he and his bandmates tend to approach the lyrical aspect of their creative process.  He mentioned that there’s a good value for specificity in lyrics, as it can help the listener link the song to a particular feeling, time, place, and things like that. It can help make things feel personal for the listener. There’s a place for universality, of course. But, I know for myself, the specificity angle works, and it’s pulled off well by the Immortals on Stop & Go.

Stop & Go is another exciting step forward for the band, who have become mainstay performers around New York. Charlie gives the people what they want while incorporating new elements into the Immortals sound. He’s planning some more shows in New York this year, and they’re sure to be can’t miss. All in all, another excellent release and step forward for Charlie Blasberg and The Immortals.

All images are courtesy of the artist

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