If you were to describe Calico, a fresh young five-piece from Brighton, in a single word it would be eclectic. Their sweeping sound blends elements of rock, electronic and jazz into something that is evolved and enveloping from start to finish. Each track on their new self-titled EP has the power to create soundscaped worlds for the listener to enter, whether it be a seedy back bar, a sun-scorched beach or a neon-light strip on a summer night.
The EP’s opening track ‘Euphorism’ truly encapsulates their sound with thick syncopated layers of sophisticated rhythms. Its winding structure builds slowly through honey-smooth brass, reverberating keyboard and cascading percussion before breaking finally into high crescendo. The second version of this song, featuring the vocals of Beth Cannon, has a whole other feel entirely. Cannon’s echoing vocals bring the far-reaching music to life, her deep and textured voice perfectly complimenting Calico’s thick layered sound.
In ‘Fold A Winning Hand’ we feel expectant and reminiscent through the steady beat and beguiling trumpet. The drums roll over the brass in a way that is deeply seductive and shows clearly Calico’s jazz influences. Again, the structure is winding, bending and breaking at every point with no clear direction until the eventual elated outro.
‘Rogue’, unlike the EP’s other tracks, is far more dream-like experience. Its eerie mood is built through twanging guitar and quirky percussion, and a thick texture that builds with acoustic piano and soft synth to create an enraptured amalgam of sounds.
There is depth to this EP, and an aptitude for music that takes the listener to another place. Calico are truly talented in this regard, and their blend of sounds and sensations is as mesmerizing as it is exciting.
Calico is out now via Small Pond.