The U.K.'s Charlie Cunningham is a thoughtfully emotive singer/songwriter who makes ambient, introspective music that combine his skills as a trained Spanish classical guitarist and his penchant for spacy, experimental indie rock. Following his time studying flamenco in Spain, Cunningham returned to England, where he drew praise for his innovative 2016 debut, Lines.
Raised in Bedfordshire, Cunningham picked up the guitar in his teens and played in various hardcore and experimental indie rock bands, drawing upon the influence of artists like Sigur Rós and Mogwai. After earning his college music degree, he waited tables to pay bills and found himself questioning his abilities and dedication to music. It was during this period that he discovered classical Spanish guitar music and was quickly drawn to the genre's wide dynamic and emotional range. Selling his Fender Telecaster, Cunningham used the proceeds to fund a train ticket to Seville, where he enrolled in a flamenco school. Initially planning on staying for two months, he ended up staying in Spain for two years, splitting his time between taking classes, practicing, and playing shows.
Cunningham eventually returned to England, basing himself in Oxford, where he quickly scored gigs in local bars. Along with playing traditional Spanish music, he had begun writing his own spectral indie folk songs. Primarily singing solo, accompanying himself on his acoustic classical guitar, and accented by plenty of echo, Cunningham issued his first EP, Outside Things, in 2014. Several more EPs followed, including Breather in 2015 and Heights in 2016, all of which helped establish his often austere, introspective style. The albums gained airplay on Radio 1 and helped pave the way for his 2017 full-length debut, Lines. In 2019, Cunningham returned with his sophomore full-length, Permanent Way, which include the song "Don't Go Far." ~ Matt Collar