Young, angsty “Calpurnia” reminds of warmer times

Now that the weather is getting especially unbearable and cold, I find myself reverting back to the music I listened to this summer.

Calpurnia hit the music scene late last spring. In this four piece band that originated in Vancouver, Canada, Calpurnia’s music hit the indie rock community with a bang. The group is comprised of the lead singer and guitarist, Finn Wolfhard, drummer and keyboard player, Malcom Craig, Ayla Tesler-Mabe, total lady boss and lead guitarist, and Jack Anderson on the bass. The band’s debut album, Scout, hit streaming platforms June 15, 2018.

This summer I would ride my bike to work every day. The ten minute bike ride to work was pretty lonely without a little bit of music in my ear. This album reminds me of breezy rides on the way to work, the time I flipped my bike in the intersection (I will touch on that later), and the day I moved to a cabin in the woods in rural Bemidji for a month. Let’s dig in.

Finn Wolfhard’s voice, which I can only describe as a cross between raspy and whiney (no shade here), is that of a man that has been weathered and broken by heartache. There is a certain sound of seasoned life experience behind the voice, a great sound at that. Upon doing some research, I found out that Wolfhard was 16 and happened to play Mike Wheeler in the popular Netflix series, Stranger Things. To say I was shocked was an understatement. After putting a face to the voice, I could not help but chuckle at the apparent relationship related hardship that poor Wolfhard and the rest of the band had faced in their short 15-17 years on this planet.

Much of the music in this album is upbeat and full of tang, which made for easy listening this past summer. The most popular song of the album, and their most played song on Spotify, “Greyhound”, showed up in my Spotify recommended playlist. “Greyhound” kicks off with a smooth guitar intro, followed by easy drums and bass in the back. This song is full of angst, but in a way that I think most can relate to. Anderson’s bass hums confidently, making you want to tap your foot along with the beat. This song brings me back to biking back and forth from work everyday through campus, enjoying the weather, and sometimes, but not always, stopping on campus to steal a piece of rhubarb from one of the bushes that resides by the Knutson parking lot.

Later in the summer, while biking in a semi-distracted manner, I flipped myself head-over-handlebars right in the middle of an intersection. I had been listening to “Louie” off of the album, but my sweaty handlebar hand had accidentally turned the volume up on my phone all the way. The sudden noise increase shocked me. I lost control of my bicycle, and before I knew it, I hit a curb and ended up kissing the pavement. I literally ended up right in the middle of the street, laying there, without any injuries, but still wishing that sweet death would take me. After laying there for probably way too long, a PT Cruiser rolled up a moment later, and honked at me to move. How do you recover after something like that? It was a humbling experience. Despite the toll that crash took on my ego, I have no remorse towards the song. The song is actually pretty rocking, with airy backup vocals done by Tesler-Mabe, whose voice and guitar skills liven it up.

Finally, this summer my job relocated me to a cabin in the middle of the woods– in quiet Bemidji, Minnesota. On the drive there, in true dramatic Carly fashion, I listened to the album in its entirety. As if the weather goddesses knew how anxious and worried I was, rain had started to fall heavily as the only more serious and sad song off the album echoed throughout my car. “Waves”, the final and longest song on the album, is sang by Tesler-Mabe, whose voice brings it to a serious and genuinely deeper place. Craig’s drums beat knowingly in the background, keeping the song steady and leaving you a bit melancholy.

While I only detailed three out of the six songs on this album, please be sure to listen to the album in its entirety. I promise it is worth it. If you remember my article from last week, I wrote about Weezer’s new album, The Teal Album. Weezer released their video for their cover of “Take on Me” by A-ha. Calpurnia actually stars in the music video that already has nearly 3 million views. Ah, I love it when worlds collide.

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