Feature: Charlotte OC’s ‘Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy’ EP Is a Passionate, Soulful Surrender

Charlotte OC © Maximillian Hetherington
An emotional roller-coaster, ‘Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy’ EP finds Charlotte OC reaching soulful, mature, and colorful new peaks as she surrenders herself in music.
‘Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy’ – Charlotte OC




Great Britain’s Charlotte OC remains amongst today’s most evocative singers and songwriters. Her voice – both artistic, and literal – carries with it a depth of emotion often left on the cutting room floor; whether she’s singing about love or heartbreak, connection or isolation, the artist born Charlotte Mary O’Connor has a way of taking her audiences on dazzling, achingly raw and intimate journeys.

Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy EP - Charlotte OC

Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy EP – Charlotte OC

It’s been three years now since Charlotte OC released her major label debut album Careless People, and over two years since she cut ties with Harvest Records and went independent. The slew of singles she’s released since then have showcased tremendous growth as she her mid-twenties, and her new EP serves as the perfect capstone to this period of time. Released May 15 via Psycho John Records / Neon Gold, Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy presents Charlotte OC reaching soulful, mature, and colorful new peaks as she once again surrenders herself in music.

Just before you sleep
It starts you feel like you’re falling
This way we meet
The darkness, darkness is calling
Under the sheets
There’s where your dreams start revealing
What’s underneath?
There’s freedom in the falling
Hanging in the air
Nowhere but down
Freedom in the falling
When you hit the ground, you figure it out
Holding on to nothing but the hope
The hope to be found
There’s freedom in the falling
– “Freedom,” Charlotte OC




The artist’s first independent collection reckons with relationships and individuality through five feverish, vibrant song. “I think it’s made me more independent as a person, to be honest,” O’Connor says of her  situation. “I got used to not knowing the ins and outs of everything; I was often wrapped in cotton wool and kept away from things I should’ve known about. I’ve become a lot tougher, I think, and I think my music has benefitted from it a lot.”

If anything, we can feel that strength sizzling throughout Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy: While not directly related to her breakup with Harvest, the songs carry a heavy weight with them that speaks to fresh starts, new beginnings, and eventually letting go of the past and its lingering loose ends.

“This EP was written over the course of the past two years, all marking different milestones that happed from start to finish,” Charlotte OC recently told Atwood Magazine. “Through this time, I noticed I either feel extreme pain of extreme happiness. I went through a lot of change, and it took a while for me to adjust and get my head around my new life. However, because I was starting fresh, there were rules which when I look back on it… I realize it was pretty liberating, but at the time, I was trying to find my feet again.”


Charlotte OC © Maximillian Hetherington

Charlotte OC © Maximillian Hetherington

An Atwood Magazine Editor’s Pick, the impassioned “This Pain” serves as Charlotte OC’s emotionally turbulent EP opener. “To say that this is her darkest song yet would be a disservice to the dark undertones in her past work,” we wrote at the time of its release. “Yet whereas so much of her earlier songs were masked in shinier melodies, “This Pain” is a naked and honest confessional. It’s cunning and sharp – a series of hushed verses followed by pointed choruses full of weight: “This pain is all I’ve ever known,” O’Connor howls over a beautiful suite of guitars and piano. “Yeah, this pain is all that’s left when I’m alone… ‘Cause it’s the same old story, the same old line. I didn’t even want you in the best of times.” She’s always known how to write a catchy pop song, but it truly seems like Charlotte OC is getting better and better with every passing year: “This Pain” cuts deep, aches with real feeling, and brings us closer to an artist we feel like we’ve already known for years.”

“This Pain” is followed by “Freedom,” which the artist refers to as one of her firm favorites: “I felt so proud after I’d made it, and sonically, I think it sounds like me,” she shares. With a bustling beat, chugging guitars, and a hauntingly distinct sonic backdrop, “Freedom” makes us want to get up and dance while feeling all our feelings. These may seem like distinct actions – dwelling and releasing – yet for Charlotte OC, the fine line has been zapped away, and we can indulge while reflecting, let go while embracing.

“Blue Eyes Forever” grooves with a distinctly cool, feel-good orchestration that injects a sensation of warmth and satisfaction into the artist’s sound. “[It] is my favorite from the new songs,” O’Connor says. “The meaning behind it and the sound is where I am at now, and what you can maybe expect going forward.”

I feel things heavily – maybe a little too heavily, so to be able to create something that sounds like how I feel is something I’ll never get over. 

Charlotte OC © Maximillian Hetherington

Charlotte OC © Maximillian Hetherington



Overall, Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy is a stunning depiction of who Charlotte OC and Charlotte Mary O’Connor is at this juncture in time. It’s emotive, elative, nuanced, and in-depth; soulful, cutting, and uplifting, and above all, confident. She ends on a high note with “Strangers in the Dark,” a hearty, soulful overhaul that hits home with some of O’Connor’s most emotional singing in her entire career. Cool, collected, and fully invested in her artistry, Charlotte OC has held nothing back.

What more can we say? We’ll have this record on repeat for months to come. Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Charlotte OC’s Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy EP with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her latest record!

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:: stream/purchase Charlotte OC here ::
‘Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy’ – Charlotte OC



:: Inside Oh the Agony, Oh the Ecstasy ::

Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy EP - Charlotte OC

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This Pain

Wrote this in my bedroom in Blackburn… Pretty cruel song, in my opinion. It’s about not wanting somebody, but finding out they’ve met somebody new and all of a sudden you’re interested and annoyed they’re happy. Not my finest moment, but it happens and I’m human.

Freedom

Being 29… I’m still in that stage where I’m not fully sure of who U am. I wanted to write a song for myself and others who may feel the same. Lost and not feeling like they’re where they need to be. I realised after writing this, that I’m exactly where I need to be. It’s all part of the process.

Falling for You

I wrote this for my baby nephew Louis. After meeting him, I felt a new type of love I had never felt before. It’s a simple and straight-to-the-point love song.

Blue Eyes Forever

I wrote this song after having one of the most important conversations of my life with my boyfriend. It was the first moment where I truly felt like somebody saw me for me.

Strangers in the Dark

This song is about getting fed up with snogging the wrong person whilst waiting for the right one to sort his act out and snog you instead.



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Oh The Agony, Oh The Ecstasy EP - Charlotte OC

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📸 © Maximillian Hetherington

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com