May 30

Charlotte Day Wilson – Cyan Blue Tour + Ouri

Union Stage All Ages
Doors 7PM | Show 8PM

About the event

Charlotte Day Wilson

Charlotte Day Wilson can make a single moment stretch into a lifetime of feeling. It’s not just that her warm voice recalls the jazz phrasings of classic torch singers, or that her smoldering anthems are methodically paced, allowing her emotions to linger long after the song finishes. But throughout her self-made career, the Toronto-born-and-raised singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist has developed a masterful ability to unpack modern lamentations with a sense of timelessness, captivating listeners across generations.

Cyan Blue, her debut album on XL Recordings arriving May 3, showcases the next evolution of Wilson’s time-bending songwriting. Through 13 hypnotizing tracks, she continues to use music as a vessel for unpacking relationships, which in turn allows her to meet and understand herself in life-spanning, panoramic focus. The crux of the album lies in its title-track, on which Wilson addresses her younger self in a liminal space between dream and reality, then and now. “I wish I could see through your eyes / One more time,” she sings. With those unadorned words of wisdom, she collapses the beauty and frustrations of the past, the burning immediacy of the present, and the possibility of the future in one fell swoop.

Inspired by the blue-green hue of Wilson’s irises, the color cyan blue began to inform the record’s emotional and sonic palette as she played with song ideas with co-producer Jack Rochon in her Laurel Canyon home studio. Suddenly, she began to see the color everywhere: on the horizon line between the California sea and sky, and in the eyes of her little nephew, whom she refers to as “the pure untainted child I wish we could all go back to,” who proudly plucked the shade from his crayon box. “As I was working on the album, I started to think of blue as the past and green as the future,” Wilson explains. “These songs sit somewhere in-between.” Cyan Blue captures all shades of the human experience—with all its melancholy, bitterness, regret, desire, and faith—through Wilson’s piercing vision.

“I want to look through the unjaded eyes of my younger self again,” Wilson explains of making Cyan Blue. “Before there wasn’t as much baggage, before so much life was lived. But I also wish that my younger self could see where I am now. It would be nice to be able to impart some of the wisdom and clarity that I have now onto her.” There’s a cyclical nature to the project, as Wilson sings both of protecting the girl she once was and the child she will one day raise. That sentiment arrives on the sparse piano ballad “New Day,” on which Wilson dreams of being a queer mother, but also the grief attached to the fact that both parents couldn’t be genetically tied to the child. Despite the “fucked up world,” she makes a tender commitment to her family-to-be: “When everything’s / Stacked against us / Give her my name / I want a new Day.”

Cyan Blue also sees Wilson crafting a smoothly woven tapestry of her eternal influences, from thumping gospel piano, warm soul basslines, atmospheric electronics, and penetrating R&B melodies. Yet, it possesses a sense of vastness that rings in a new era for Wilson, one in which she’s embracing collaboration and newfound creative openness. Aside from a few collaborators, she had largely self-produced her previous projects—2016’s CDW, 2018’s Stone Woman, and her 2021 debut studio album Alpha—obsessively making up to 14 versions of the same song. This time around, she challenged herself to kick her perfectionist tendencies and finish the album within a couple months.

“Before, I was extremely intentional about creating music with a strong foundation, a bed of artistic integrity,” Wilson reflects. “But that was a bit stifling, like, ‘Let me just make a great piece of art that will stand the test of time, no pressure.’ Now, I think I’m getting out of this frozen state of needing everything to be perfect. I’m more interested in capturing feelings in the moment as they happen and leaving them in that moment.”

It helped that Wilson had Rochon, a close collaborator originally from Toronto, who made her feel “completely free and weird and able to make mistakes.” With his help with instrumentation and hands-on production, she could focus on the big-picture aspects of the project. It allowed Wilson to be even more intentional about delivering a vocal performance that’s even more powerful in its restraint. “I think of my voice as an instrument,” she explains. “I don’t only think of it as emotion. I think of the shifting of the notes like they’re on a scale, as I climb my way and descend on the imaginary staff.”

Though Cyan Blue is tinged with wistfulness, as Wilson ruminates on all forms of past relationships, it also sees her claiming her desires and future with certainty. On “My Way,” a collaboration with songwriter-producer Leon Thomas, she portrays making a decision during a sliding-doors moment between relationships through hazy images of “magic tricks” and “smoke and mirrors.”  “I don’t really like to write in a completely overt way,” she explains. “So I try to make it a little bit more ambiguous. I like seeing how others interpret my words, like a rorschach test.”

Wilson also allowed herself to fully express her frustration towards others, like on “Canopy,” a penetrating R&B track on which she hits out against others who are blocked by their own worldviews and become a dark cloud for those around them. “I can get in my own way, too, for sure,” she reflects. “But I wrote this while walking around the house in Laurel Canyon and looking out the window at the canopy of trees, finding associations between my environment and the people I was thinking about. I’m out of those scenarios, too, so I feel liberated because I’m no longer in them.”

Even in its different shades of anger and disappointment, Cyan Blue shows Wilson always finding her way back to gratitude. Like on “I Don’t Love You,” she breaks tough news to someone whom she once loved, yet comforts them by singing, “It’s not the end / It’s the beginning.” For the piano ballad, she and Rochon sampled an iPhone demo for its glitchy vocal chops that add to the song’s mournful, ghost-like quality. Then on “Walk With Me,” she reminisces on a by-gone relationship by honoring the love that they once shared. “I tried to remember that love doesn’t die,” she explains. “Love will always outlast us. I wanted to remind myself that there was something that brought us together in the first place and celebrate that.”

Maintaining a sense of hope and childlike imagination is what has carried Wilson through her illustrious career. Over a decade, she’s been sampled by Drake, John Mayer, and James Blake, while Patti Smith has recently praised and covered Wilson’s 2016 breakout single “Work.” “Everything I do in my life is catered to making sure that I stay inspired,” Wilson reflects. “I feel like, in general, we get so much less imaginative as we age, and I see it in the people around me. But I feel like I’m heading in the opposite direction, where I’m just getting started again after my little frozen period in the middle of my career. I have the desire to create everyday.”


Ouri grew up in France, in a family of mixed french and afro-carribean descent. She began playing the harp and piano at 5, but at 7 she found unity in the cello. A self-proclaimed introvert who’d rather dash off on her own than feel disconnected in the wrong crowd- she arrives in Montreal at the age of 16 to pursue a degree in composition.

Montreal’s rave scene is where her artistry began to take shape – establishing herself in the community as a producer, DJ, and composer. Lending her skills to various collaborations, she strengthened her sense of self, but also her affinity for transforming sonically into any genre, playing any role.

In 2018 she was invited to MISM x Boiler Room’s Montreal show, signed to Ghostly (international) & Make it Rain Records (Canada) for the release of her EP ‘We Share Our Blood’ and was asked to make official remixes for the likes of Tokimonsta. Her growing notoriety let her support Jacques Greene, Yves Tumour & Kllo live in concert.

Evolving beyond her affirmed DJ persona, she breaks out of the underground to come up for air – where she collaborates with folk artist Helena Deland. They merge in a dimension of their own, and Hildegard is born.

Now in her debut album, she shatters the oftentimes submissive and distant approach to ambient sound to finally take up space and connect to her own experience.

Ouri explores the intricate formation of shape in Frame of a Fauna. The intangible is held and the unseen is sung as it inspects the framework of the body- how emotional hardship can imprint, and in turn deform the skeleton. If the bones are the container that stands the test of what is being contained- What is the residue of happening? And where does it go? She notices the way time can rupture a rib cage, pull out the collar bones, or make a fist out of fingers.

She takes her knowledge of big orchestral sound, and creates her own fusion, puncturing the classical with industrial abrasions and electronic nuance. Ballads and drum samples take melodies out of the middle ground.

She finds home in the new hybrid- but first she must stretch the old structure to make a clearing.

The album begins in a bedroom in London, and hops to Berlin where she witnessed her sister give birth – and sees its completion a year later after a sudden trip to Brazil, where she said her last goodbye to her mother.

The cycle of birth, death, and constant rebirth sends her transcending through the creation of this album, as she explores what lies inside the lining of the big dharma wheel: trauma, control and vulnerability. She starts outside and builds as she ascends inward, which is how she transforms the universal, into a personal space, not for the lost, but rather for those who are in suspension.

She sculpts chaos with layers of texture, only to ask you to find her voice within it, “Hold on, hear it out and chase me” she sings.

Sound fills to the brim, cello meets synth, becomes lush and ethereal, only for her feather-light voice to slither in with ferocity. You weed through the sound to meet her in her sincerity. In this way we are listening twice- for what she wants to say, and what she wants to feel- which are not always the same.

She invites you to be comfortable in the lucid, to be sensual without the sexual, in the possibility of communicating what you may not yet know.

She edits lyrics to Ossature in a final revision to include hope in her perspective, and records GRIP in record time in a sweeping fit of grief in honour of her mother.

Conscious not to define herself within any one structure, but to cascade her own spectrum of sound- in Frame of a Fauna Ouri shows us everything she can do, while what comes next is everything she will.

This show is at Union Stage

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740 Water Street SW
Washington, DC 20024