Charlotte Sands’ ”Lost” is pushing forward the pop-punk revival—premiere
Sands' celebratory anthem for outsiders is only the latest to come in the middle of her ambitious rise.March 3, 2022
Charlotte Sands is releasing her new single “Lost” on Friday, March 4. Alternative Press is giving you a first listen of the track.
Ahead of the release, we connected with Sands, who previewed the new song for us. She also spoke broadly about her career. “Lost” is the latest drop from an artist on the rise, an ambitious musician pushing herself to forge a distinctive place in the music industry.
“Lost” is a celebration of the outsider. Sands crafted the track from her own experiences, speaking to the moments where she felt alone and secluded. Despite the difficult subject matter, the song is infused with positivity and self-acceptance. Sands tells us, “I didn’t want this song to feel sad or resentful of my past — I wanted it to feel like coming to terms with every version of yourself and an anthem for anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in.”
This vision saturates the music. The song is upbeat, set over propulsive instrumentals and driving percussion. Positivity radiates, especially from the track’s vibrant chorus, which boldly embraces feeling lost as a natural and meaningful part of life.
“Lost” continues building on a two-year progression that has helped Sands find a place in the growing pop-punk revival. In 2020, Sands began attracting viral attention on TikTok on the back of two singles, “I Don’t Care” and “Dress.” That second track in particular — written in support of Harry Styles’ Vogue cover appearance in a dress, which inspired backlash from some commentators — generated massive buzz on the social platform and emerged as an anthem for expanding public notions of gender expression. The song invited droves of fans to join her positive social media community, amassed 21 million Spotify listens to date and earned her accolades from progressive organizations such as the ACLU.
Fast forward to 2022, and Sands has thrown herself headfirst into earning her stripes in the music community. From collabing with artists such as Underoath, the Maine and Taking Back Sunday to touring with YUNGBLUD, Sands has shown her investment in the broader alternative music world. Now, fresh off the release of her EP Love And Other Lies, and on the eve of a tour with the Maine, Sands is showing the world that the horizon looms with potential.
Like many other current artists, Sands’ music reflects her broad, open musical knowledge. For this reason, her sound crosses genres, channeling the energetics of pop punk while also capturing the spirit of pop music and other powerful styles. This eclecticism, paired with her confessional and feeling-wrought musical persona, is one of the reasons she’s helping give a particular shape to the budding pop-punk revival.
Ever humble, Sands maintains she’s not taking success for granted. No, she’s eager to work to reach it.
“I think my path is clearer than ever. I feel so confident in the music I’m making and the team around me. It only makes me more excited for the future,” Sands says. “This is definitely going to be the craziest year of my life, and I couldn’t be more ready.”
Read our interview with Sands, and check out “Lost” below.
Can you tell us about “Lost” as a song? What were you saying with the track, musically and lyrically?
“Lost” is a song about adolescence and the struggles of growing up and constantly feeling like an outsider. The verses tell the story of my life and have actual examples of times when I felt isolated or like a loner, and the chorus feels more like a celebration and acceptance of our differences. I didn’t want this song to feel sad or resentful of my past — I wanted it to feel like coming to terms with every version of yourself and an anthem for anyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in.
One of the things I’ve noticed about your career is your engagement on social media. You seem to really understand social platforms, but you’ve also built a really passionate and engaged community of fans. Can you talk about social media and how you see those platforms fitting into your artistry?
Thank you, that is so kind. Honestly, social media is the best and most challenging part of my career. I love the accessibility of it and how easy it is for me to connect to people and have real relationships and interactions with humans on the other side of the world, especially during the last two years where in-person interactions didn’t really exist, but it is definitely a lot of work. For the biggest moments of my career, I was unable to perform shows or hug people in the audience, so I just channeled all of that energy into finding ways to interact with people online and create actual relationships instead of trying to get fleeting attention. We’ve done multiple campaigns just to include people in the entire process of releasing my music like leaking demos, asking them to help pick out cover art or even design merch.
I think artists can and should make their fans feel like they are a part of their team in various ways because, truthfully, they are — and they are all in some way responsible for your successes. That is the key to creating a passionate and engaged community. Yes, having to be active on multiple platforms throughout the day just to maintain engagement is a lot of work and extremely time-consuming, but the fact that I have enough people that care about me or my music to the point where I feel overwhelmed by their messages and kindness is an amazing thing that I don’t ever take for granted.
You’ve also spoken about your interest in the 2000s pop-punk scene. I think a lot of people have been thinking about that era since 2000s alt is experiencing a kind of renaissance right now. What about that era attracts you?
I couldn’t be happier about the resurgence of 2000s pop punk. I think what attracts me to that era the most is the confidence of the music and the infectious energy you would get from the shows. There was this need to see your favorite artists and bands, to the point where you would do absolutely anything to get there, and nothing else mattered. I love being able to channel that music into my project, and being able to work with bands that I grew up listening to… there is really nothing cooler.
What other genres/artists/periods inspire you?
I am constantly listening to so many other genres of music for inspiration. I grew up with my brother listening to a lot of rap and R&B, which I think is why I learned how to write verses that had weird inflections and emphasis on different syllables and rhymes. I was so impressed by artists and songwriters who are able to make every line sound like it could be its own song. I also really love Bonnie Raitt and John Mayer. Their lyricism and storytelling is unmatched. My biggest inspiration as an artist right now is Doja Cat because she can release any song in any genre, and it would be incredible. She is so dynamic as an artist and writer and forever pushes the boundaries of music and her own art, which I really respect.
You’re fresh off a tour with YUNGBLUD and gearing up for a tour with the Maine. Can you tell us about your feelings and expectations about the upcoming run?
I couldn’t be more excited to get back on the road! I thought I would be more homesick, but as soon as I got home, I wished I was playing more shows. I feel like I’m making up for lost time right now since I was unable to perform and hear my songs live for so long, so now it’s all I want to do. I’m also playing a lot of states on this run that I’ve never been to before, and that is really exciting. We’re going to have so much fun, and I can’t wait to see so many new faces. I’ll probably cry a lot.
I saw in a recent interview that you said you’re in a stage where you feel you need to “earn” an album. That said, I feel like you’ve made big strides since the fall, collabing and touring with great artists and earning respect for your music. Do you feel you at least have a path in front of you for how to progress? What comes next on that road?
I appreciate that so much, and I’m really grateful and proud of the progress we’ve made even this year alone. I can’t believe it’s only March. I think my path is clearer than ever. I feel so confident in the music I’m making and the team around me. It only makes me more excited for the future. My goal for the rest of the year is to release music that I love and in a way that makes sense with me being on the road so much.
For now, it makes sense to do singles because it gives me more freedom to be visually creative for each individual song instead of a whole project, and I live for that constant chaos. My other goal is playing as many shows as I possibly can and finally getting to hug all the wonderful people I’ve had the privilege of getting to know online over the last two years. This is definitely going to be the craziest year of my life, and I couldn’t be more ready.