Live Review: Charlotte Day Wilson shines in her biggest ever hometown show

On the final date of her North American tour for her latest album – the brilliant Cyan Blue – Canadian R&B artist Charlotte Day Wilson sold out one of Toronto, Canada’s most popular new venues, History. “You know it’s a big night, right?”, Wilson said as she stared out into a crowd full of fans, friends and family.

Gaining noteriety with her debut single “Work” in 2016, Charlotte Day Wilson has been captivating Candian audiences for nearly a decade with her powerful and emotive music. She has collaborated with the likes of BADBADNOTGOOD, River Tiber, Kaytranada and Daniel Ceasar, to name a few. She was nominated for four Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the ARIAs), a Liberia Award, and short-listed for the Polaris Music Prize for her first full-length album Alpha, all within a year (2021-2022).

What sets Wilson apart, is that her music has been largely self-produced. Beginning with her first EP CDW which was long-listed for the Polaris Music Prize, and now her second full-length album, Cyan Blue, Wilson has proven herself to be a master of her craft. Though just turning 30 last year, she has an air about her as if she has been doing this for a lifetime.

With its release on 3rd May, Cyan Blue pays homage to loss, love and change. Her writing depicts heartbreak and pain, new love, and navigating the shifts of life. Through songs like “I Don’t Love You”, “Walk With Me” and “Dovetail”, you really get a sense of the journey Wilson has been on these past few years. Another highlight is her stunning cover of “Over The Rainbow”, a song about hope in times of darkness.

It’s not everyday you can hear a pin drop in a 2,500 capacity venue, but that was the case this past Thursday as she celebrated the album’s release with a sold out hometown show. Wilson captivated the audience in a way I haven’t seen from her before, having last seen her completely solo in 2017.

Now with a three-piece band backing her, including Ouri who opened the show and with whom she is touring, the sound enveloped every inch of the space. Notably, Ouri transitioned to the cello as an interlude to “I Don’t Love You”. Also gracing the stage during Wilson’s set was fellow R&B musician Yaya Bey, the second opener of the evening, who joined her for “I’ll Take Care Of You”.

The band was dynamic, with Wilson playing guitar, piano and the saxophone. With this performance, it’s clear that as her audience has grown, so has her stage presence.

Closing the night out solo, with an unreleased song at the piano, all you could hear was her buttery voice and members of the audience fighting back tears. It’s clear this night was meaningful for her, having so many loved ones in the audience. “Love is truly the meaning of it all”, Wilson reflected.


Cyan Blue is out now in Australia through XL Recordings / Remote Control.

For more about the artist, head to her official website.

The author attended the performance at History Toronto on 6th June 2024. Photos by the author.