For an artist without a full-length album to her name, Charlotte Cardin has star power to burn.The Quebec singer-songwriter performed the opening free outdoor blowout for the 40th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Thursday evening, and Place des Festivals was packed from front to back.It was a devoted, enrapt crowd that came out to greet the rising star, 24, who has been on the brink of international fame for what seems like forever. but has really been just over a half-decade.Cardin placed in the top four of hit Quebec TV show La Voix in 2013. But rather than use the opportunity to go for a safe pop sound and the easy radio play that goes with it, she waited, then responded by releasing a pair of brooding soul and trip-hop-styled EPs — Big Boy in 2016, and Main Girl in 2017 — that placed her closer to the lineage of her idol Amy Winehouse.In the summer of 2017, it was announced that American label Atlantic Records had signed Cardin, paving the way for world domination. A former model with a big, bewitching voice, she has seemingly everything going for her, including a carefully constructed aura of artistic credibility.Cardin played three sold-out shows at Metropolis as part of the jazz festival in 2017, after making her debut at the event opening for British singer Mika at Place des Arts, three years before that.So it was a homecoming of sorts, for the Montreal girl still waiting for her close-up, and it was an opportunity for a massive hometown crowd to come out and cheer her on now so they can say they saw her when.
A large crowd jammed Place des Fasticals for homegrown soon-to-be-star Charlotte Cardin Thursday night.
Allen McInnis /
The sea of people spread for as far as the eye could see. And they knew what they were in for, as evidenced by the cheers that greeted early favourite Big Boy, which brought noir drama following the lullaby opening of Échardes.“Bonsoir Montreal! Est-ce que vous allez bien?” she asked. “What a joy, what a pleasure to be here tonight for the 40th Montreal International Jazz Festival, entre nous. It’s like a big hug. We’re going to sing love songs all night. Thank you for coming out in such great numbers. On capote déjà.”She stood centre stage for Drive and Talk Talk, shimmying in a white skirt, her voice brimming with a captivating purity underscored by a tinge of something darker.It’s an intriguing mix, and it’s what makes Cardin hold your interest.She played a few new ones off her upcoming debut album, “which will be out very soon,” she promised, including Good Girl, a funky offering with a little more pep than we’re used to.She was joined by Quebec singer-songwriter Aliocha for a rendition of his folky ditty Flash in the Pan, their voices mingling playfully.“He’s so cute, I’m all red,” she said, afterwards.
Charlotte Cardin’s voice brims with a captivating purity underscored by a tinge of something darker.
Allen McInnis /
Cardin was alone on guitar for the sombre Just Like That; then she sang The Kids, a solemn song “about psychological abuse,” accompanied only by bass and guitar before it built to a powerful climax.The woman can do it all, her moods shifting with the weather, which flitted between hot and humid, threatening raindrops and cool breeze. Cardin’s cool alright.California, released in April 2018, soared with the kind of passion and heartache that brought to mind Adele. And with the British diva currently on hiatus, the stage is open for another torch song singer to take her place.Montreal electro-pop duo Milk and Bone came out for a rousing Main Girl, followed by a their own twinkling Daydream, prompting a sea of waving hands.And Quebec rap star Loud checked in for two as well, Cardin’s Like It Doesn’t Hurt and his own single Sometimes All the Time. He was greeted with rapturous roar, as sparks of electricity bounced between them.Just before Loud, Cardin introduced a completely new song, Passive Aggressive, coyly explaining that if anyone didn’t know what the term meant, she could introduce them to a couple of her exes. The song was a laid-back disco jam that has sensuous hit written all over it, eliciting handclaps and cheers from the crowd.“Je passe le plus beau moment de ma vie,” Cardin gushed.The jazz fest had won its wager, putting a local gal centre stage to kick off its four-decade-celebrating edition. And Cardin won the night, proving that when she finally gets her moment in the global spotlight, she will own firstname.lastname@example.org/TChaDunlevy