Artist to Watch: UK’s Charlotte Clark Astonishes with Debut Single “Disarray”

Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford
Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford
Charlotte Clark explores the numerous facets of an emotionally impactful break up with her astounding debut single, “Disarray.”
Stream: “Disarray” – Charlotte Clark
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An artist’s debut track often serves a statement of intent. That’s certainly the case with “Disarray,” an absolutely extraordinary introduction to the UK’s Charlotte Clark that enthralls and astonishes in equal measure. A long time member of Harry Styles’ band who previously released her own music under the moniker of ARK, Clark is talent defined – and now is her time. It’s fitting that “Disarray,” as song that embodies intense multi-faceted emotions with such grace and authenticity, serves as her first release under her own name.

Disarray - Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford
Disarray – Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford
Hanging on the line
One too many times
We’ve been here before
Fighting on the first floor
Oh why do we collide if we’re on the same side
I should’ve known better
Than to give it up and walk away
And now I’m writing letters
just to make you stay

I’m counting my treasures
I’m putting on a masquerade
Cause you don’t wanna
see me in a disarray

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Charlotte Clark’s debut single “Disarray,” released via LAB Records on July 3, 2020. Produced by Scott Verill (Kwassa) and mixed by Odd Martin, the compelling production intertwined with Clark’s bewitching vocal makes “Disarray” an unmissable listen. Despite tackling emotions embedded with anxiety and apprehension, Clark effortlessly manages to exhibit a remarkable amount of self-assuredness, infusing an almost calming aura into her song.

Delving into the aftermath of an impactful breakup is commonly tread ground for songwriters across all genres, but Clark’s ingenious approach sees her providing a refreshing, inventive look at the confusing combination of mournfulness and relief that often accompanies such a split. Her outstandingly vivid penmanship depicts both the brutal loss of losing someone who’s intertwined with your life, and the freeing acceptance of knowing you’re free to forge your own path.

Speaking to the track, Charlotte Clark tells Atwood Magazine, “When Scott and I first started writing this song, I had no idea what it was about and it didn’t feel like a particularly inspired or productive day. I was just hanging with him and his cat and we were messing about with some synth sounds. Then the chorus hook and lyric just kinda appeared: “I should’ve known better than to give it up and walk away, and now I’m writing letters just to make you stay.” We genuinely thought it was a song that already existed and that we had stolen it from somewhere.”

She continues, “After that day, I just had this minute-long gritty emo demo sitting in my inbox for months until I revisited it one day at my parents’ house and finished writing it on my childhood piano. Listening back to it, I realised that it was entirely about the relationship that I had just come out of, and the rest of the song pretty much wrote itself. Sometimes I have to live out the experience until I can reflect on it and write about it, and this was definitely one of those moments.”

Sometimes I have to live out the experience until I can reflect on it and write about it.

Overcompensate for all of my mistakes
But things are never solved
We cover up the potholes
And now we stand alone in this home that we’ve grown
I should’ve known better
Than to give it up and walk away
And now I’m writing letters just to make you stay
I’m counting my treasures
I’m putting on a masquerade
Cause you don’t wanna see me in a disarray

The tranquil comfort that’s deeply ingrained in “Disarray” is remarkably addicting.

Throughout, it celebrates both cumbersome and pleasant emotions, with the same amount of thought and care, encouraging the listener to fully and unequivocally embrace the emotions that they encounter in their own lives. Sonically the track embodies an almost spirited sense of intriguing joviality and euphoria, which serves as a stunning backdrop to the ruminatively reflective lyricism that depicts emotions in an engaging fashion, that’s unquestionably magnificently unapologetic.

As she grapples between contemplating staying in a relationship for the ease of comfort and letting go of a compelling attachment that’s no longer healthy, Clark is boldly unafraid of exploring the astonishing complexity that infiltrates those difficult feelings. As the track progresses, one can unquestionably sense the anguish and frustration in her vocal performance, which builds perfectly to a climactic breaking point in the chorus.

Is there anybody else in a disarray
Well we used to feel like gold
Now we’re dimming out to grey
And even though I said I’d go
It’s so hard to pull away
Is there anybody else in a disarray

With just her debut track, Charlotte Clark has firmly marked herself as an artist making music that is concurrently elegantly vulnerable and devastatingly beautiful.

During ‘Disarray’, there’s also an undercurrent of empowerment, which originates from Clark’s bold delivery and lyrical frankness. Her ability to cram so many complicated and convoluted emotions in just over three minutes is frankly remarkably. This stunning debut unquestionably makes Charlotte Clark an artist to watch, and fans of “Disarray” should expect more music on the horizon, with her debut EP Warm Weather due for release in the near future.

In the meantime, delve into our interview below to learn more about Charlotte Clark and her journey so far!

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:: pre-save “Disarray” here ::
Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford
Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford


Disarray - Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford

Atwood Magazine: You have stepped away from your ‘ARK’ moniker, what influenced that decision?

Charlotte Clark: When I formed the moniker ‘ARK’, I was performing under one side of my personality, and I only presented myself as that. It was totally my vulnerable, romantic side and I guess I was in that space for a while, but as you grow up and out of these phases, you become more accepting of all sides of yourself. Going back to my own name just felt full circle really.

Following on from that, why did you choose with this song as your first release without a moniker?

Charlotte Clark: Ah man, I’ve had this song for about two and a half years, and have been playing it live that whole time. I’ve found it’s a song that people really resonate with when I play it, and in all honesty, I just wanna get it out for those people! It also sits really nicely as an intro to this new project out of all the songs on the EP.

Obviously, the pandemic has delayed your tour with Harry Styles and left you with time you didn’t think you’d have. How are you planning to fill that time? And how has this whole situation been for you so far?

Charlotte Clark: I’ve been trying to plan my time, but I’m just finding that doesn’t work for me at all. I’ve honestly really not been doing much – baking, hanging with my cats, reading, a bit of writing when I feel like it, but mostly just processing the whirlwind that has been the last year or so! It’s just been such a weird time, and it feels like everything in the world has come to a head which is so positive but just really overwhelming. It’s been a necessary time of educating and learning a lot for sure and now I’m ready to get my head down and start writing new music.

The production embodied within ‘Disarray’ perfectly complements the track’s lyrical sentiment. Could you tell us about the process of working with Scott to craft production to elevate the song’s impact?

Charlotte Clark: Thanks so much. I’m not just saying this but Scott is honestly my favourite producer out there. I have this real classic approach to songwriting and production, but Scott just totally flips that on its head and I think its why we work so well together. We started recording this song with just vocals which I’d never done before, recording loads of weird adlibs and vocal sounds and then turning them into samples. From there, the song embodied this whole new life and turned an emo ballad into something really fun and empowering. I’m really proud of it.

For the press shots and artwork, you worked with the unbelievably talented Marcus Rexford. I'd love to hear about the process of working with him & the inspiration behind the artwork.

Charlotte Clark: Yes! Marcus and I were living together at the start of lockdown so we were just around each other every day. We had shot photos before, but they were always planned and I knew exactly what my outfits and locations would be etc. The day we shot this artwork, was the day before I left his, so we were like okay, if we wanna do photos we have to do them today! I had this little Disarray t shirt made online for fun so I just put that on and we went out for a walk. I knew I wanted the artwork to be me in a big open road, and Marcus knew exactly the spot. We genuinely spent about 30 mins out on this walk and the photos were perfect. I think after that we just went back and drank wine. A perfect day.

Looking forward to the future, what are you most excited about?

Charlotte Clark: I’m so excited to get this EP out, and to play it live one day. The day I get on stage with my band playing these songs, is going to feel so good.

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:: pre-save “Disarray” here ::
Stream: “Disarray” – Charlotte Clark
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Disarray - Charlotte Clark © Marcus Rexford

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