CALPURNIA: Summertime Nostalgia & Old Souls
by Sam Mackey
Calpurnia’s debut EP, Scout, sounds like it was created to soundtrack an indie movie. The raw vocals paired with raw guitar riffs makes the album an essential addition to your summer playlist. If these kids weren’t already on your radar, they should be now.
Many are unknowingly familiar with the band Calpurnia due to Stranger Things and It actor Finn Wolfhard. This young star is determined to prove his versatility by also fronting the band, composed of himself, Malcolm Craig, Ayla Tesler-Mabe and Jack Anderson. The Canadian natives formed together due to their “unequivocal passion for music” as they state simply.
Calpurnia forms a distinct, coherent sound in Scout, proving themselves as distinguished artists on their first attempt. This is done through only six songs, blending smoothly into each other. The introductory track of the album, “Louie”, already proves the heart embedded in their music. Wolfhard declares “Oh lord I feel cold,” revealing the presence of blues that will carry on throughout the following songs. “Wasting Time” portrays this as well, beginning with “My baby don’t laugh, All she do is cry” and ending with a shriek of weariness.
While the lyrics of the songs draw much attention, the background instrumentals deserve equal appreciation. In “Greyhound”, we hear Anderson’s steady bass paired with Tesler-Mabe’s intriguing guitar elements to form the extended instrumental portions that carry the song. Regularly throughout Scout, the musicians illustrate their desire to make their pieces compositionally compelling.
“Waves” portrays summertime nostalgia, opening with the scene:
“Dreaming of the days, Let’s just sit and watch the waves go by, The sun rises and falls again, But things can never be the way they were back then.”
Here Craig’s simple drum beat overpowers the slightly muffled vocals, fitting dreamily as the album’s closing song. Of all the songs on Scout, this one is the most lyrically dense. Tesler-Mabe narrates a longing for the past and the desire for a different outcome. Through her instance of heartache, her vocals peacefully sway with the changing chord progressions, exhibiting her performance as a “lover of groovy music” as her Instagram bio states.
Calpurnia’s members are young bodies with old souls. Among their original songs, the musicians ranging from 15-17 years old have covered songs by notable artists including The Velvet Underground and Pixies, revealing their rock influences. Calpurnia attracted large audiences wishing to witness their covers, impressing fans with their talent before having any original songs released.
Expect to see Calpurnia everywhere soon; within the short time that the band has been producing music, they have already been on the cover of NME Magazine. Don’t miss the chance to see them live, they are touring and appearing at festivals at select dates throughout the summer: