Charlie and the Rays Break Through Loss on “For No One”

Charlie and the Rays (Photo: Morgen Purcell)

Even after someone has passed on, they’re always with us. This message is clear on “For No One,” the latest single from Charlie and the Rays, led by sisters Rebecca and Jordan Stobbe. 

“It was birthed from a feeling of longing to hear that familiar voice or touch of someone who is gone,” Jordan Stobbe tells American Songwriter. “This person in my life who passed also had a very unique voice and accent that will always be a part of me, so I wrote the song around the importance and uniqueness of our voices, and how people in our lives who we are close to have such an indescribable impact on us, even long after they’re gone.” 

Journeying deeper into their lives, the sisters continue to release a translucent honesty cloaked in classic folk rock harmonies that are, at moments, reminiscent of another time. Previous single “Wanna Be Like You” was Rebecca Stobbe’s reflection on a point in her life when she felt stuck with a picture of her future self and all the anxieties and mental struggles that go along with figuring out how to make change within.

Starting out, the Stobbe sisters were busking as teens in their hometown of Seattle at the Pike Place Market and immersed themselves more in songwriting, releasing their self-titled debut in 2018. Now based in Brooklyn, NY, friends Ian LeSage on lead guitar and drummer Patrick Hagan currently round out Charlie and the Rays.

Reflecting on Stobbe’s loss, there’s a delicacy to the instrumentation around “For No One” that cradles the song’s story and its yearning in chorus wanna hear your voice again, while its movement somehow makes it feel like everything is going to be alright in the end.

“‘For No One’ catches the listener from the first drum hit, catapulting the tune off into a driving beat, paired like two best friends with the intro guitar lick that also reappears later in the song, beckoning familiarity and nostalgia,” says Stobbe. “The bridge section steps back from that road-tripping, driving vibe for a moment, presenting a more intimate, delicate melody to the lister that portrays a different intimacy from the rest of the song.”

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