Callaghan - The Other Side EP
Following on from the Hattie Briggs "12 Months Of Madness" campaign with a release every month for a whole year, we now have a Callaghan campaign offering us 3 EP's over a 12 month period called "A Year Of New Music" of which "The Other Side" is the first installment.
The first thing that immediately strikes you is the absorbing cover with three images laid over each other to form a stunning illusion, are you looking at Callaghans nose, her arm or the building behind, it is all very clever and subtle.
The EP opens with "Solid Ground", and for the opening minute we have the trademark perfection vocals over a guitar backing, before then opening up into a big sound with a band driving the song forward with a thunderous backbeat and multiple backing vocals. Essentially a love song about finding your perfect partner. This is Callaghan with influences of the sound of Coldplay or Florence and The Machine perhaps coming to the fore, it is a great opener.
"Surrender" starts with a gentle piano riff and some slightly distorted guitar buried far in the mix. This gentle ballad gradually adds in a drum machine and strings and again opens up into a much bigger sound, with absolutely beautifully recorded vocals cementing her position as one of the purest vocalists the UK has to offer, no gimmicks just absolute clarity. An unconditional declaration of devotion "I can't survive another night away from you" and "I forget where I am and where you begin" are just some of the feelings expressed.
The third song "I Don't Know How To Lose You" starts with a piano riff and some muted strings that leads into a gentle ballad. Probably the most familiar sounding of the new songs yet behind the simple piano there are lots of delicate little sonic touches that elevate this song.
I'll be honest I have not a clue as to the significance of "The Other Side" (Intro) - 38 seconds of keyboard noise that precedes the proper version of "The Other Side" whose chorus is as perfect a bit of pop music as you are likely to hear all year. Once again the gentle piano intro leads into another full tempo Florence like driving piece of music. It is a new side to Callaghan that she seems perfectly at ease with as the song speeds and builds up.
If the following EP's are of this standard then it'll be a year of new music to look forward to.