[Album Review] Calvin Love- Super Future
3.0Rating
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

calvinlove

Release Date: June 16th, 2015
Label: Arts & Crafts

When I first listened to the indie pop release ‘Super Future,’ I felt like Edmonton’s Calvin Love wanted to emulate the vocals he would grace his washroom with when showering. For a man with a very sensual presence through the whole album, his way of talking the talk was curtailed by his awkward way of singing, one that sometimes felt like he really needed to use the toilet quickly. With further listens, the album finally clicked. Even though I really didn’t care for his eyeing of possible lovers, I realized that the singer is walking a tightrope where his balance depended on the coordination between his voice and the very elegant instrumentation which took its influences from classic rock roots and the disco swagger of the 1970s.

Though the album can be quite Lana del Rey-esque, with its nearly one-dimensional focus on pleasure and finding the right woman, Love displays that he is particularly smart when he wants our attention. The first track, “Girl,” manages to mash in a lot of the album’s sonic aspects into one piece, demonstrating the vocal tracks that would accentuate Love’s voice, the prominent basslines, crisp drumming, and atmosphere-building guitar, with most songs having a drive-through-the-night feeling (“Automaton” and “Luna”). Whenever “girl” is repeated, it comes off as purposefully slow, reminding me of vibrant perfume advertisements where a model gracefully rotates themselves as the mist dances on their skin. Crooning is also present here and in several other tracks (“The Rush” and “You & I”), and while, at times, this makes Love feel like an inept karaoke singer who has stage fright, it does highlight the experimental nature of his work.

Lyrically, listeners are getting a lot of motifs that position outer space as blissful. At the same time, Love is aware that his crooning and vocal delivery need more bite. What he does is pop up in a kind of loincloth that Tarzan would wear and yelp. After a well-delivered guitar solo, the psychedelic vibe of “I Wanna Know” shoots a curve-ball with jungle yelps, taking listeners by surprise. The same thing happens on the animated “Creepin’,” with its fast strumming, rattling guitars, and a vocal stance that hints to a love for the lo-fi and garage rock. “Calls From Jupiter” has the band drawing influences from the sound on Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” while still praising a sort of Tragically Hip vibe with its subtlety in displaying a bar interaction.

What Love does when the nightlife textures of the instruments (which are all performed by Calvin) do not overwhelm his sound (“Down the Well” and “Daydream”) is tell constant stories of contact and dreams of a dates without necessarily going into whether the man goes into a one-night stand or not. Although his vocal delivery is not for me, the culmination of sonic expression and the textures that collide into each other make for an enjoyable listen. Maybe the future for him isn’t super because of technological advancement, but because he doesn’t know what’ll happen after that one connection at the bar. Will it be a super future for him and this lover? The singer has a sufficient amount of lush in them to make something happen. The band does well as wingmen. Maybe too well.

  • Musichound

    You should do your homework. Calvin played every instrument on Super Future, not band mates.

    • Dustin Ragucos

      I apologize for my error and will take much caution the next time I am looking at an artist. I have contacted the editor in hopes of remedying each instance that I refer to Love’s act as a band. The feedback is much appreciated, Musichound.

      • Musichound

        :) you are welcome. Check out a live performance of Calvin’s. Vocals are very different than when Super Future was recorded in his bedroom.

        • I did see him at Field Trip! :) He did have a full live band with him and vocals more proiment

    • edited now!