By: Chris Long
Her Name is Calla | website | facebook | twitter |
Released on May 31, 2015 via Bandcamp
Her Name is Calla have toiled away for a decade, produced three excellent albums and played dozens of euphoric live shows, and yet they remain on the fringes.
Undeterred, they are celebrating their tenth anniversary with the release of A Wave of Endorphins, a fan-funded documentary that takes in all the backslaps, bumps and bruises they’ve experienced along the way.
That film comes with a soundtrack of new songs, a release the band lovingly refer to as ‘Album 3.5’. Unsurprisingly, for anyone who has fallen under their spell in the last decade, it is a remarkable work of epic beauty – intense, challenging and expansive yet warm, intimate and life-affirming.
The album burns with passion, its three vocal tracks – the graceful ‘Transmute’, the tumultuous ‘A Sparring Partner’ and the explosively heavy closer ‘The Hour Of The Gloam’ – showing off the band’s ability to handle both the ethereal and the brooding with expert ease.
But it is when the vocals are left to one side that the album truly shimmers. There are moments in its instrumentals – in the soaring violin that bursts free of the building strings of ‘East Riding Swamp’, in the rumbling tumbling outro of ‘From Inside The Faraday Cage’, and in the scant heartbreaking piano of ‘Lost Boat On An Ocean’ – when if you listen carefully enough, you start to have to blank out the sound of your own heart exploding with emotion.
The nine songs on offer are littered with such moments, experiences of sheer wonder into which you can disappear and float away on the textural splendour of it all – displays as mesmerising as the murmerations of starlings caught in the setting sun.
The album distils a full gamut of feelings and serves them up for you to gorge upon, delivers more in its all-too-brief 35 minutes than many bands are capable of producing in an entire career, and leaves you bedazzled and enraptured; spent and grinning; breathless, wide-eyed and revelling in its enormity and splendour.
A Wave Of Endorphins is, quite simply, stunning – a clarion call to turn your ears to Her Name is Calla and a reminder of the fact that out there, on the edges of the music industry, there are some truly astonishing bands plying their trade.