In 2014, Charlie Hickey (then 14 years old) released "Odds," an outburst of literate, emotionally daring original songs that elicited attention and airplay on KCRW, KCSN and WXPN. Since then, he's been balancing high school with steady appearances at such venues as Genghis Cohen, Room 5, and The Coffee Gallery Backstage (places where his peers can get in)--meanwhile continuing to write and record. Now 16, Charlie is back with "This Is Not Easy For Me," an EP of new songs that explore the wonder and wilderness of adulthood coming into view. Timeless humanity slams into social anxiety, tattered kisses coexist with love of family, the incipient future is not just a riddle but a secret. With contributions from an illustrious roster that includes guitarist Dylan McKenzie, keyboardist Patrick Warren, drummer Jay Bellerose, bassists Jennifer Condos and Daniel Rhine, singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, and producer Tony Berg, the songs celebrate, search, rail, and even obsess, always struggling toward self-comfort and a tenuous kind of joy. . . for, as Charlie reminds us, "these very moments are all we have to run away to."
"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." -Kevin Bronson, buzzbands.la
"Hickey’s voice centers the album: clear, warm, palpably human, it is a real voice, alive. But it is never showy, never cocky, never crooning, never plangent. Unlike many (and many older) singer-songwriters, Hickey never sends his voice on an errand while he stays behind. He is there, right there, fully present in his voice. This substantializes the songs, giving them power and immediacy." -Kelly Dean Jolley, Quantum Est In Rebus Inane
"This gifted South Pasadena native’s second EP’s distinguished by a melodic pop sense and strikingly self-aware lyrics... contemplates romance, control and faith, and neatly summarizes teenage fugue in 'I’m Alive': “Tomorrow’s always coming, it’s giving me a break/ I do so much dreaming I forget that I’m awake.” Most compelling: the earnestly strummed 'Broken,' its restless yearning for an unmet other expressed with remarkable eloquence by someone who hasn’t fully tasted the world. Yet." -Bliss Bowen, Pasadena Weekly