Callow: Blue Spells

The scariest part of becoming a musician is the commitment such a life requires, and the sacrifices that need to be made to start building a name for oneself. Callow are a pair of opportunists who saw their recession-related unemployment not as something to mope over, but a chance to commit to music. After selling their apartment to live on the road and record their debut, they are back with another release and coming closer to seeing their sacrifices pay off.

Red Moses and Sami Knowles have a different approach to music, with the former providing lead vocals and spacey, fuzzy guitar while the latter handles a keyboard, drums, and backing vocals all at once. A drum set modified to have a keyboard in the middle of it is not a normal occurrence, making them a sight to see as well as something to hear.

For anyone that has heard Callow’s debut, Orb Weaver, Blue Spells is mostly the same thing, except rather than sounding like it was recorded late at night in a hotel room, it uses noise to release the same raw emotion. For everyone else, the recording sounds a lot like playing blues rock through a tube sock in an echo chamber. Really.

The LP is bookended by “Strange,” a promotional digital single that opens the album with a tone-setting creeping piano/guitar groove, and “Sex Moans For A Dead Man,” a track whose closing is an opportunity for Knowles to prove that she knows how to hit a crash cymbal. Right in the middle is “Space Ghost,” a song that is a true onomatopoeia; its name describes it eerily well.

Callow are simply two people who have had it rough and are in touch with their emotions enough to write quality songs about them. If you want to hear and feel their story, here’s something for you to listen to.

In A Word: Penetrating