Friday, 11 October 2013

Calvin Love - Cool/Wild Blue

Single review by

Supposedly, a picture paints a thousand words. We'd suggest that on average it's considerably lower than that, but it probably does paint a fair few words. That doesn't mean that those words can't be a pack of lies though. Cast your peepers on the artwork for this debut single from Edmonton musician Calvin Love (a man who already has a self-released album out on Bandcamp by the way, this is his first on a label). What are you thinking? Stoner-rock? Something akin to a Canadian version of The Streets, full of urban beats and lyrics about the life of a lazy drop-out? Like we said; a pack of lies. Mr. Love may enjoy the odd toke, most of the music word does, but musically that picture is at odds with the sounds.

I guess you could point to these songs being laid-back, but they're not chilling in the fuggy haze of pot smoke, they're electronic indie music that is sharper and less goofy than you'd expect. It's that decade again: the 1980s. The synths on 'Cool' are borrowed wholesale from the pop music of much of that decade, but with an insistent pounding and some intricate layers we get a very good alt-pop tune. Backing it up is the slightly more uptempo (but, thanks to the choice of chords, paradoxically downbeat) 'Wild Blue', a song that shares a similar sound and a similar complexity. These haven't been cobbled together after a couple of bongs, these are well thought-out songs. And for the record, we think he's got the running order wrong. 'Wild Blue' is probably the best of the two here, perhaps that decision was made during the pause in which the cover shot was taken...

Calvin Love's website

Buy the single

Catch him live:

SUN 13 OCT Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC, US
MON 14 OCT DC9, Washington, DC, US
TUE 15 OCT CMJ Festival 2013, New York, NY, US
FRI 18 OCT Fontana's, New York, NY, US

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