Charlie Hickey emerged in 2014 at the age of 14, bearing an EP, “Odds,” that belied his years. The son of two songwriters with an estimable body of work themselves, Hickey is now 16, staring adulthood straight in the eyeballs and not flinching a bit. Hickey’s second EP “This Is Not Easy for Me” belies its title. Nobody who’s 16 should be able to differentiate love from the idea of being in love, but there it is in Hickey’s “I Like the Idea of Loving You,” with its galloping chorus light years ahead of his contemporaries’ saccharine crushes. In “I’m Alive,” which he introduces with the notion he is “living in the arms of the past,” he asks, “When I am truly happy, how an I gonna know?,” a relevant query whether you’re 16 or 60. The lead track “Broken” finds Hickey, over briskly strummed acoustic guitar, acknowledging the love of his family but seeking something more — even if it is “someone’s tattered kiss.”
“This Is Not Easy For Me,” released last week, features contributions from guitarist Dylan McKenzie, keyboardist Patrick Warren, drummer Jay Bellerose, bassists Jennifer Condos and Daniel Rhine, singer Phoebe Bridgers and producer Tony Berg. For all its out-of-the-mouths-of-babes moments — see “The Child in Me” — there’s a universality in its emotions, and the tacit knowledge that whatever they are, they often fragile and fleeting.
||| Stream: “Broken”
||| Also: Stream the entire EP via Spotify
||| Live: Charlie Hickey performs Aug. 5 at Genghis Cohen.
||| Previously: “Odds”