Video Premiere: Charles Howl – ‘Dreamer, In a Bad Way’

‘Dreamer, In a Bad Way’ is the title track from Charles Howl’s upcoming collection of songs, (Anticipated Early 2022) recorded by Euan Hinshelwood at his Greenwich studio, Vacant TV and mixed by Richard James. Howl was often listening to Robert Wyatt’s Old Rottenhat at the time of writing, and took influence from the mid pace electronic beats found in Wyatt’s work.. Lyrically the song builds the story of a character that is always put down, or not taken seriously, for constantly conjuring up hair brained schemes. They may be interpreted as an idiot with the wrong idea about life, but this constant moving around and fantasizing is what keeps the character sane. It is only the narcs who will have regrets when they are 40. “I’ve been accused of being a dreamer more than once in my life, the song and the video are a little fuck you to those people. If you build it, a lightweight replica of a lamppost that is, they might not come, but they might be confused. And right now that’s enough.”

Howl makes reference to a statue of John Bunyan in the second verse, of which he used to systematically climb as a teenager each Friday night after doing sambuca chambers in Bedford town centre: “Back then I felt like I was allowed to dream, in adulthood I feel you have to justify it. I’ve been accused of being a dreamer more than once in my life, the song and the video are a little fuck you to those people. If you build it, a lightweight replica of a lamppost that is, they might not come, but they might be confused. And right now that’s enough.”

“After moving to Berlin last year I began thinking about how to capture the city for a music video in a way that would satisfy me, without relying on the obvious cinematic architecture and scenes that Berlin is known for. I set about making an exact, light weight, replica of the style of lamppost found most commonly in my neighbourhood. Filming with a skeleton crew of 2 including myself, the portable lamp offered both the perfect lighting source while simultaneously acting as a prop that convincingly confused passing members of the public.”

Charles Howl is the solo project of Berlin-based musician and filmmaker Danny Nellis. He started his journey back in 2013 with a self-titled five track garage-surf-punk EP, later followed by his first album ‘Sir Vices’ and an extensive period of touring across the UK and Internationally. His discography was then joined by 2017’s album ‘My Idol Family’ – showcasing the first true emergence of songwriting flair. His latest series (Currently unreleased) is a true snapshot of Howl emerging as a figurehead no longer behind the web of instrumental, but standing in front of it.

‘Dreamer, In a Bad Way’ is the title track from Charles Howl’s upcoming collection of songs, (Anticipated throughout 2022). We currently have our first headline show booked with Incredible Society for the 5th of feb at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney, London. With support from Fell and Daisy and the Deadheads to mark the beginning of Independent Venues week.

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Photos by Joe Miles IG: @joe_miles_