Eclectic and electric collaboration between pop & rock, vintage & innovative, dreams & doom...
Charlie & PJ
Charlie Thomas and PJ Lee of the DC-based pop/rock band ‘Us!’ are the unique pairing of America’s most fiercely creative rock guitarist and his beautifully talented Asian counterpart. ‘Us!’ dares to be the next man-woman fronted band to make music history.
Each note, lyric, and phrase from ‘Us!’ is a personal culmination of two minds working as one. Charlie’s vocals are stark with wild abandon – you know he means every word. His guitar playing is a raw and confident fusion of technique, paired with the courage to paint freely on an empty canvas. PJ’s powerhouse vocals are full of feeling and naiveté. Consistently compared to Ann Wilson she brings her wild heart to every song. Her rehearsed and tidy skills on the keys and bass come alive while Charlie etches each new Rorschach. Their stage presence at live shows give audiences an intimate look inside the musical minds of two truly magical musicians.
‘Us!’ began in 2012 when a friend offered to feature their music on his internet radio show. ‘Us!’ jumped at the opportunity and the tunes started pouring out prolifically. Within a couple of months Charlie and PJ were playing their original music at live shows in Virginia, DC, and Maryland.
In 2013, ‘Us!’ teamed with Baltimore-based producer Rennie Grant of The Baltimore Recording Company. As fate would have it, Rennie’s expertise, experience, and passion for making great music were the missing ingredient from ‘Us!’s energized pop/roots rock music. Rennie awoke a refreshing brightness in “Another Day,” “Over You,” and “I Can’t Stay” on ‘Us!’s debut EP, which has been well-received in the tri-state area and beyond, thus translating to thousands of hits on Facebook, SoundCloud, and ReverbNation.
On the ‘Us!’ full-length album, released December 1, 2015 (available at CDBaby), Charlie and PJ draw from real life for inspiration to co-write melody-driven timeless songs. “Over You” is dark and scorned. The epic “Die Inside” cries out for love and attention, while “LUVME2” is undeniably catchy and playful. “Wanting You” is the most vulnerable ballad yet from ‘Us!’. Although candid emotion is evident in ‘Us!’s music, the foundation for great songwriting comes from Charlie’s education in music composition, and his decorated career playing Blues Alley, USO tours, and the DMV’s most prominent rock music venues. It also stems from PJ’s classical training in piano and violin performance, her perfect pitch, and her tutelage in musical performance and theory with a former Peabody Institute instructor.
‘Us!’s music is well-written, well-executed, and well-produced. While ‘Us!’s edgy chemistry lends itself to intensely emotional music, it is also what will endear people to ‘Us!’ for years to come.