The sound of Callow’s haunting art rock is not only a metamorphosis from their debut, 2012’s Orb Weaver. Fronted by lead vocalist/guitarist Red Moses and drummer/keyboardist Sami Knowles, the band’s new album, Blue Spells, tackles the desire to evolve and make the most of the dwindling time we have as human beings. Served with a side of Moses’ gut-wrenching vocals, Callow will give you a hell of a lot to think about.
Formed in 2009, Callow is the project of a dancer, Knowles, and a life-long musician, Moses. The two knew each other for three years prior to making music together. After sitting in on one of Moses’ rehearsals, Knowles joined him onstage for a show the next day, and a project was born. The economy crashed (along with their jobs) around the same time, forcing them both to re-evaluate everything. They decided making music was more interesting than just about everything else, so they gave up their apartment, sold everything and moved into a trailer to live and play music on the road.
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay area, the band has played all over the western half of the country and parts of Canada, and alongside many notable acts including Greg Laswell, Elizabeth and the Catapult, and Night Beats. Moses’ vocal performance on their first release, 2012’s Orb Weaver, has been compared to that of Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) and Vic Chestnutt. Examiner.com described the chemistry Callow has on stage: “You’re in for a subtle, but moving and powerful emotional music experience.”
Callow loves to create music that hits people in the gut. With influences ranging from Pink Floyd to Nina Simone to Pavement, its easy to see where the complexity that exists in their sound stems from. Strong vocals, minimal instrumentals, hypnotic drumming and haunting melodies define Callow’s music. The grittiness and soulfulness of Moses’ voice takes prominence in their music, begging the listener to feel emotion. His raw vocal talent forces the listener to derive meaning from the words he sings.
The title of their second album, Blue Spells (out November), is an ode to the somber tone of the music mixed with mysterious and poetic lyrics. The album was collaboratively produced by Rob Bartleson, Yarn F Miners, Brandon Eggleston (Modest Mouse, Tragically Hip), and Callow. It was recorded live to tape instead of digitally like their previous release. Knowles said, “It leaves room for nuance...and those delicious accidents to occur.”