Charles Howl

My Idol Family

Image of Charles Howl - My Idol Family

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With My Idol Family, Howl has found his voice both with his more confident singing style but also in his lyrics, which are more prominent in the mix. The album title emerged from the overarching themes of family and idols, and how people idolise celebrities and try to emulate their lifestyle. This is encapsulated in the song “Meet Lou’s Needs”, about so many people in music trying to copy Lou Reed’s look, music, attitude and his drug habits. As Charles says; “I love Lou Reed but I don’t want to see shit imitations of him every time you go see a show or after party.” Idols are also flagged up in the song “John Albarn”, where he imagines two of his musical heroes as one seamless being – John Lennon + Damon Albarn = John Albarn.

The opening track “Death of Print” speaks of Howl’s concern for the death of print press. Based on a true story, it tells of a 1970s zine in Berkley which got shut down and disbanded a group of friends. As he says; “I’ve always been concerned with our ever increasing seclusion, with much help from the internet and personal social media profiles.” “Goodbye Sleep” tells of the time he drove his friends garage punk band on tour when he was 20, and was caught for a driving offence in Malmo, Sweden and sent to prison for one month over the Christmas period. “This song is about not being able to sleep properly the first week or so, thinking of my friends outside carrying on the tour and heading home.” says Charles.

At times rapturously melodic and others jarringly off-kilter, there’s a real variety of sounds on My Idol Family. Howl didn’t want to be afraid to get cheesy with this record and as a result, it feels more honest. Without the pressure of having to be faithful to one particular genre or trying to fit in to the favoured psych revival of recent years, he draws on eclectic influences to embrace a wider scope, thus creating something that sounds refreshingly unique and remarkably modern. 


1. Death Of Print
2. The Dinner Party
3. Meet Lou’s Needs
4. Goodbye Sleep
5. John Albarn
6. Fla Da Da
7. Red Girls
8. American Boy
9. Never Forget What You Are
10. She’s Throwing Up

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