It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Seattle’s Charles Leo Gebhardt IV. Well, that’s not entirely true, as last year we got a debut full length from Unnatural Helpers. But his solo project under his own name has been quiet since the release of Unfaithful, the delightfully raw and fun EP from 2008. Begin Again is the new release and it maintains much of what we heard from that previous EP, albeit with a tiny bit more production.
Listening to Begin Again, I tried to pinpoint exactly what it is I dig about Gebhardt’s music. It’s a tough task, not because I’m stretching to find the answer, but because I don’t want the answer to discredit his music’s greatness. It’s playful and catchy, filled with traits common to pop, folk and maybe even a hint of old-school, early country. It has a nice twang, is a little lo-fi, and has plenty of grit. And there’s more, but I’ll let you discover that yourself.
In Begin Again, we hear Gebhardt’s first take at quieting it down. There are plenty of tracks that match his previous work’s volume and pace, like “Chapel Of Roses” and “Lonely You”, but there are also a few ballad-esque tracks like “Stand By You” and “Tell Her That You Love Her”. Gebhardt also seems to add more back-up vocals, which are quite welcome.
I guess my main point is that Begin Again encompasses all the things I loved about Gebhardt’s first EP, and that makes it a major success in my eyes. I loved that EP and was a bit sad that it was so short, because it was just so damn good. We now have eight more tracks to add to the collection, and there are a few on Begin Again that top the best from Unfaithful. Just listen to “She Won’t Be Far” and “Chardonnay”.
Begin Again just arrived via ggnzla records.
Download: “Chapel Of Roses” by Charles Leo Gebhardt IV
[audio:110406-charles-leo-gebhardt-iv-chapel-of-roses.mp3|titles=Chapel Of Roses|artists=Charles Leo Gebhardt IV]
ggnzla records 
1. Chapel Of Roses
2. She Won’t Be Far
3. Teach My Heart
4. Stand Behind You
5. Good Things
7. Lonely You
8. Tell Her That You Love Her