It’s Sunday 21 July 2019, and New York power pop outfit Charly Bliss are pumping out their US chart hits to the Aussie crowd after following The Lumineers, The Teskey Brothers and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets on the Splendour lineup. Band frontwoman Eva Hendricks catches the attention of Callum, a young Gold Coast man, in the crowd. Some sort of ‘Sliding Doors’ moment occurs serendipitously as Callum and Eva meet after the set, and only days later Callum drives twelve hours south to see the Charly Bliss Sydney show for Eva’s birthday. Impressed, Eva invites Callum to New York to meet her family.
Pressing pause on our story of romance, a reader might wonder how Charly Bliss even found themselves in Australia after a few years of playing to European and US audiences to considerable acclaim. Known as a four-piece from Brooklyn, featuring brother/sister Eva and Sam Hendricks, guitarist Spencer Fox (who also voiced Dash on The Incredibles) and Dan Shure on bass, Charly Bliss had dreamed of a trip down under.
‘The way music is distributed now it’s way easier to find an audience outside of where you live,” explains Eva.
“We saw on the streaming platforms that our music was resonating with Australians, and our manager lined up a showcase at SXSW for the Splendour and Laneway promoters. We’d always dreamed of playing Australia and the invitation happened. We actually cancelled a few US shows to accept the invitation and visit Australia for a few festival gigs and a couple of solo shows.”
Callum’s trip to New York served to reinforce the feelings of the star-crossed lovers from opposite cities on the globe, and after another six months of touring necessitating exorbitant phone bills, and sneaking in an odd visit between tour flights to Singapore, Eva found herself at LAX on a plane heading to the Gold Coast as COVID-19 heightened in March 2020. It wasn’t long after this, Eva’s visa was necessarily extended for six months, making her a Gold Coaster to see out the remainder of 2020. So what does an emerging New York frontwoman do when she’s caught in Australia for longer than she thought she’d be?
‘Actually, I’ve been writing a musical with my cousin, and writing a young adult novel, as well as writing the new Charly Bliss album,” she says.
“And of course, hanging with Callum and having a blast. When you’re touring you repeat the same day over and over again, wherever you go. While it’s thrilling and a great job, and I never resent it, I’ve really enjoyed the rest and the opportunity to work intentionally on Charly Bliss’ third record.”
An honorary Gold Coaster now, Eva has been quick to adjust to the beach life as she works on the new material, and reflected on the community being a muse for that process.
“Everyone here is so happy, so kind, there’s such a warmth in the people… it probably helps that the weather is so good. I’ve loved it here and never thought I would be here so long. I’m in Coolangatta and there’s such a strong sense of community. I’ve gotta give a shout out to Francie’s as well… I’ve loved their pizza during my time here.”
Eva and Callum’s romance continues, so we are told, but whatever happens Gold Coasters can be assured a little bit of creative gold has already embedded itself in one of 2021’s most anticipated US pop releases.
You can check out the Charly Bliss music video, ‘Capacity’ below: