There often comes a point in the life of a fledgling band where, despite the plaudits and the acclaim, they take time to reflect on what’s been achieved so far and, importantly, where they go from here.
The Calls, named after the street in Leeds where much of their inspiration and some of their caustic, witty and memorable lyrics have emerged from, are one such band.
Having released the exhilarating Waterfront single and the defiant Graceland EP – recorded and produced with Keiron Melling from The Fall and Mickey Dale of Embrace respectively – The Calls took time to reflect and realised that, whilst being rightly proud of those recordings, it was perhaps time to leave them behind. By being honest with themselves, by allowing their personal satisfaction to come to the fore, and by moving subtly into areas of music and production that excited them, they took that time since the EP release to formulate a different avenue, augmented by experimentation with film and backdrops to create a whole new visual outlook.
It’s not quite The Calls Mk II – the energy, the attitude, the confidence, the brash catch-you-off-guard rhythm changes all remain – but this is the sound of a band moving on; fusing their creativity with a love of rhythm and melody to create new swirling, exhilarating sounds.
The first fruits of these labours is Lost Art Of Romance, the new single released on 23 February with a launch at the Hi-Fi Club in Leeds on the same night in conjunction with Scruff Of The Neck, the “super-cool imprint” [Manchester Evening News] renowned for being “instrumental in bringing forward new talent” [Louder Than War] and who, like many, are intoxicated by the new material The Calls are producing.
Having carefully fine-tuned these songs with support shows to the likes of Tom Hingleyat Leeds Belgrave Music Hall; Glass Cavesat Leeds Lending Room; and The Hubbards at Leeds Brudenell Social Club over recent months, The Calls are now ready to take the next step with their headline show at Leeds Hi-Fi Club. It will be the first of many this year; and Lost Arts Of Romance will be the first of many releases.
The Calls, despite their youth, have grown up with a soundtrack that has encompassed The Clash, Stone Roses, The Jam, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Happy Mondays and Tame Impala amongst others; echoes of which may be subtly apparent here and there but The Calls always, defiantly, sound like The Calls. Their songs portray a level of intricacy and excitement that swirl – often subtly, often thrillingly – over lyrics that, without exception, always have something to say. And that’s a fine combination.