Chargaux: A Magic Music Box


Chargaux is the blend of not only two names, Charly and Margaux, but also a blending of sounds & styles. This is a string duo of innovative proportions created by a serendipitous meeting on a corner in Boston. In an era where morphing and transforming seem to be part of everyday life, although more prevalent in art/music/fashion, Chargaux appears to be ahead of the game. Throwing classical violins on top of R&B beats, mystical reverberations, synth sounds doesn’t quite describe Chargaux; I quote, “we make renaissance music. it’s hard to describe a color you’ve never seen before.” And they are so many colors, it’s not just evident in their clothes and hair, albeit fashionistas to the core. Get ready to hear unknown and unnameable colors.

Just put on “Lullaby.” Lie down, turn off the lights, and breathe.  There is spiraling and centering, tiny bells alter-calling. If you still don’t believe that Chargaux conjures, just take a look at their tour title “Magic Music.” Get caught up, get trapped, fall into the rabbit hole…

In their song “I’m So Pretty” –heavy with synth and bass drums, quasi-terror electronic house that beckons “Romeo/Rodeo” and uses romantic language “when the stars come looking in my bedroom/hoping that you’ll come through.”  Nothing like you’ve ever heard, I can guarantee it.  We need more voices like these.

“Burn Rubber” samples The Gap Band. With classic lines like “you took my money/you took my time/why you wanna hurt me, girl” & “just because you’re not for real/why you wanna hurt me, girl” –their female vocals turn the song on its side and inside out; the role switching brings a flavor that puts gender roles in question.

While Chargaux composes string arrangements of songs by Beyoncé, Kanye West, and the coveted Kendrick Lamar to Tove Lo, Sam Smith, and Taylor Swift –eclectic, indeed; it is, however, in their own compositions that they fly. This duo is Icarus if he had been less sun-hungry; propelled towards a heat yet retreating just in time.  Circling constellations on the strings of their violins, these girls are faerie-esque and out of this world.


“The Earth is Flat” from Sofar New York is an interwoven spell, complete with drum invocations in a candle-lit room. How does one balance on a violin string and be still enough to evoke ancestral dance? Chargaux seem to have the formula.

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They have played across the US in various hot spots as well as exclusive venues like the Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Museum, but nothing more exclusive than the White House Gala hosted by Michelle Obama.  Voted one of NYC’s favorite “Avant Indie” of 2014 and recognized by Saint Heron as “Artists to Watch 2015,” this duo is on a mission. Imbedding dreams and reality; they are purposed to live their lives out to the fullest –as artists.


Photo by Richard Corman. Courtesy of Rhythm Foundation.

Their album “Broke & Baroque” isn’t just a manifestation of their music but also their struggles. They discuss the hustle of their early days as street performers and why taking a job to work for someone else would get in the way of building their “own dream,” of making their “own machine work.” Chargaux is not just music, it is a way of life. They advocate creative control. They advocate star-reaching, dream-hunting, individualism-ism. Listen –let their passion plant something in you.

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See details below for their next performance with DJ KUMI on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) as part of Third Thursdays: Poplife Social Presented by The Rhythm Foundation


(Unless otherwise noted)

WORDS BY: Jacklyn Janeksela

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