Charlotte Forrester will be known to many through her work with her former band Athuzela Brown, created with her twin brother Haz. The talented songstress decided to take things solo for a while at the end of 2014, writing and recording her own songs – creating Womb.
Halfway through last year a self-titled EP was released, containing five songs; sweet, but somewhat haunting and carried along by a deep underlying strength. Lyrically the songs are full of lush imagery and symbolism, yet personal, for example Teresa, named after a close friend.
Fast forward to today, and Womb has become a trio of siblings, with brother Haz back in the fold and sister Georgette Brown joining in on drums. Forrester says Womb was a name she’d been thinking about for her project for a while, but it wasn’t until the ‘Womb’ EP came out that she felt ready to take the moniker on.
“I feel like it’s a strong name in a way, so it took me a long time to build myself up to feel strong and be Womb, you know? But I do think that’s what a lot of my music is embodying, the womb in terms of a strong matriarchal energy or the womb as something very sexual.”
Forrester says she chose to go solo for a time because she wanted to be writing her own songs, and doing her own music, for a challenge, something different. Realising that playing alone wasn’t stimulating enough, she enlisted her siblings to play with her, turning Womb into a peculiarly well-named and fluid project.
“We can just jam and it flows really well, and we know the sound that we want to put out there.”
While she remains the main songwriter, the family trio put the songs together, together.
“I never want to make them feel like they’re in the background, that’s really important to me… I think we kind of all agree, maybe it’s best if I keep writing the actual songs and they’re doing their own drums beats and lines and guitar riffs. They do things I would never think of, [but] we all have the same consciousness about what we want to be making.”
Forrester says the songs on the EP are very soft, which is perfect for what they are, but next time she’d like to experiment more with her voice, to reflect their live shows.
“Now we scream and shit like that, so I want to get that side of it.”
The songs she writes have elements of her own life, but also have threads of general human experience and the matriarchal figures in her life.
“I’ve got songs about my sister, my mother, my brother – he’s not a matriarch but he’s probably the person I’m closest to in the world, because we’ve been together since the womb. I guess nature always comes into it nature as well, as a matriarch itself, the original mother.”
The trio have two gigs booked in June, one in Auckland and one in Palmerston North, and Forrester says they might do a few extra shows around that.