A corrupted file, a misplaced folder, dog-eaten homework–there’s nothing quite as excruciating as something you’ve put your mind and heart into suddenly being gone. Luke Trimble understands that pain, having walked through his front door one afternoon to find his house burglarized and all of his music gear taken–not to mention the demo tapes for his band Charlie Reed. But rather than wallow, Trimble decided to look at the positive: After years of self-sufficient music-making, he was forced to ask for help and work more collaboratively. “The physical reality of losing my stuff became this emotional metaphor for starting over in every way,” he says. The resulting album, Eddy (due in 2022 via Earth Libraries), finds Charlie Reed reaching new golden heights.
Growing up the fourth oldest in a family of ten children in Cincinnati, Trimble was well familiar with operating in big groups. However, the appeal of remaining hands on and in control of his art had always held an appeal, so Trimble entrenched himself in DIY scene upon moving to Chicago. When his previous group Uh Bones called it quits, Trimble assembled the Charlie Reed band. Where Uh Bones sat comfortably in the guitar fuzz between The Kinks and Ty Segall, Charlie Reed relies more on acoustics and George Harrison swoon. Trimble’s sterling falsetto and warm washes of guitar are bolstered in the latest iteration of the lineup by Twin Peaks’ Colin Croom on guitar and pedal steel, Divino Nino’s Justin Vittori on guitar, Nick Beaudoin on bass, Nolan Chin on piano and organ, and Nora Chin on backing vocals. To further expand the universe, the group added more drumming, violin, and viola in the studio, with engineer Andrew Humphrey assisting in the self-produced sessions.
Having spent 11 years in Chicago, Trimble has observed a lot of trends and changes in the music scene. Most recently, that meant watching the movement away from an overwhelming predominance of DIY garage rock and into something more subtle. “It feels like we’ve moved on from the Beatles era and now it’s the solo careers,” Trimble says. “Chicago’s music scene is one of a kind. We’re so tight-knit and it feels very inclusive.”
Much like sharing members with two of the city’s most beloved indie outfits, Trimble named his band Charlie Reed in a self-effacing, egoless move. Rather than assume it was a solo project or have too much of the attention on himself, the spotlight could be on Charlie. “I created this fake person with a certain ring to his name,” he explains. And while the lyrics’ homespun sincerity and Trimble’s charming vocals cannot be denied, the band buttresses him perfectly, the whole much greater than the sum of its parts.
Throughout, “Eddy” thrives in that sweet spot of nostalgia for something that never existed, a paradox made strangely comfortable. “I wanted the record to feel classic, familiar, but refreshing,” Trimble says. “These are melodies that will get stuck in your head in a melancholy way.”
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