Calotype organically fuse intimate songwriting and the raw, genuine sound of in-the-moment pop-rock throughout this wonderfully melodic, reflective new album Hosts and Ghosts.
Hurry Up kicks things off, and immedietely there’s a sense of live indie rock to the presentation. This continues throughout, laying bare significant riffs and moments – piano, guitars, drums, vocals – which help keep authenticity standing tall.
These qualtiies continue throughout, alongside notably thougthful lyrics that connect a little more intensely the further along you get.
Hurry up and feel nothing…
The Things We’ve Learned From Movies follows, a uniquely melancholic, haunting soundscape, and a second vocal lead adding early dynamic. Again, the band drive with a mellow sort of considerate writing style.
Then we get the subtle Folk-meets-Americana of Taffy Motel 2, a song that begs for you to experience it in a live, intimate setting. A personal favourite, intriguing lyrics and a familiar, satisfying melody.
All The Way brings a fuller rock sound to the stage, tipping its hat to the soft-rock legends of the nineties and early noughties. An anthem-like piece, with these now familiar short rhymes and poetic insights proving recognisable as Calotype. Another highlight, followed by the well-placed acoustic guitar-work of a mellow, heartfelt Seaside Girls No More.
Baby’s Got A Heavy Vibe builds up beautifully, enveloping listeners in that classic rock sound once again. Then False Alarm Beats keeps the warmth alive but digs deep conceptually in an appreciative and caring fashion. All of these songs strike as the sort with a stronger depth to explore upon re-visiting.
I’m So Sorry All The Plants Died comes in as an intriuging, piano-led ballad with a powerful sense of depth in terms of the underlying concept. A fascinating song, which holds attention well throughout. An emotive vocal pours endless passion and uncertainty into the mix.
Then there’s a hit of Americana and an upbeat drum-line as No Seasons questions the changing stages of modern life. Many of these songs do exactly that, actually – embellish short, simple rhymes with deeper reflections on the absuridites of our contemporary world; even our very existence. Melodically this is another highilght, a hypnotic hook section helps really elevate the experience.
What We Mean When We Say Waste brings things to a compelling finish, inspiring kindness it seems, a longer-form melody helping weave something original on the build-up to a hearty chorus of togetherness. Again, it bears listening to more than once, to let these ideas fully connect.
Calotype have a sound of their own right now, even with the two varied vocalists leading the way – the set-up and melodic progression, the writing style, is undoubtedly theirs. This album introduces the band in a humble yet bold and likable manner. A great collection of songs.