Born out of the fragility of life, the inspiration for Charlotte Kerrigan's latest album Paper Lanterns was birthed during a time when some of the music industry's biggest stars were passing away.
Processing her thoughts and feelings about life and death, fame and stardom and realising we all must come to the same place at the end of our lives, led to the title track Paper Lanterns.
"I wrote this song when it seemed like all the big stars were dying - Bowie, Prince, Michael Jackson, Glen Frey, Tom Petty…
"I was thinking about what it must feel like to be a huge star at the end of your life.
"I figured it must feel the same as anyone else nearing the end, feeling the fragility of life and reflecting back on all they had done."
Paper Lanterns centres on the theme of fragility, whether it be of life, relationships or ego.
It has a bluesy sound with the feel a mix of fragility, melancholy and hope.
Spending two years on the album which included writing songs, rehearsing with the band, recording at Surgery Studios with Lee Prebble, mixing the tracks and pressing the CDs along with creating a music video for We Gotta Help Ourselves staring Kāpiti locals.
The album covers, in Charlottes words, 'meaty issues' but has a lighter sound than her first album Metaphor.
Releasing her first album in 2017, Charlotte learnt a lot from the experience but like many artists she was not satisfied by this attempt.
"Although it did well in the charts, like all creatives I was pretty hard on myself and I wanted to do a better job.
"I began experimenting with different styles and in turn refined my own."
This included going on song writing courses, joining with a local song writing group and being mentored by musicians Charlotte Yates and Ryan Edwards.
Due to be released at the end of March, with a full band set up at Te Raukura ki Kāpiti, the Covid-19 pandemic saw the launch cancelled.
"When I had to cancel the show due to Covid-19 I was pretty gutted but thanks to the power of the internet the album is now out on Bandcamp and Spotify with videos on YouTube and Facebook."
Eager to find a silver lining, Charlotte released the album early online as well as releasing a limited edition CD with a six page booklet featuring art by Kāpiti photographer and artist Karolina Stus made from recycled cases.
"I heard about a great initiative set up by Cam Crawford of Fireflower Records who collects old CDs from the Wellington tip shop for bands to re-use in a bid to reduce plastic waste.
"Plastic CD cases are made from a pressed composite plastic and cannot be recycled so re-using the cases was the most environmentally sound option, as well as the cheapest.
"I wanted to produce something tangible people can look at and hold or have in their car."
Without a release show to promote the album, Charlotte was not expecting to sell many CDs, but thanks to the power of social media, she sold enough to enter the NZ Top 40 charts at number 20 the week it was released.
"To chart in the middle of a pandemic is pretty extraordinary.
"I was delighted to feature in there."
A review by music.net.nz gave the album 5/5 stars and described the album as "a collection of soulful, bluesy ballads with melodious jazz influence, and weighty compassion in the lyrics.
"The vocals are exposed in their richness, captivating, harmonious, and with crazy good pitch."
Paper Lanterns is available now on bandcamp.
For more info visit charlottekerrigan.com.