By Az Sandhu
Inspired by blues, rock, folk and the Celtic heritage of his Scottish home, Calum is adept with big riffs and bold melodies that back his thought-provoking lyrics. The sheer power in Jones’ voice demands your attention & refuses to be anything but centre stage.
Calum writes, produces and performs all parts on his recorded material and his live performances are not to be missed, with his enthusiastic banter and positive energy winning over crowds at every show.
Calum is working a serious release plan for 2020 with new singles every month and a full album in September.
Calum Jones has been prolifically releasing singles every month during 2020, his latest release 'Fingertips'
The first single submitted by Calum was 'One for The Road' released in January. It had an Americana feel to it, a sort of Rock-Blues inspired track which worked really well alongside Calum's gritty low vocals, where just before the end he howls 'give me one for the road' passionately demanding the totally petrified bar worker give him some booze, despite his obvious inebriation. The track ends there but I get the impression that after that howl, he probably passed-out landing face first on the floor, leaving a relieved bartender not having to struggle with the dilemma of whether to yield to the over-intoxicated Calum's demands. The track had some fantastic guitar work too!
In April Calum released 'Brother in Arms' in May, in June 'Monster' 'Happy Now' and in July 'Fingertips'. Listening to these tracks 'One For The Road' feels very much like an outlier in terms of Calum's recent style, or perhaps a stepping stone to the next phase of his progression. His work prior to 'One for the Road' was very much in the pop realm but after he seems to have taken a darker turn, not a bad thing at all. These three mentioned tracks appear to cement a more consistent style too; gone is any Blues influence in 'One for the Road' and in its place is a rock sound with pop sensibility. The technique of gentle verses juxtaposed by heavy choruses (when a distortion pedal gets trampled on as you break into it) has been a rock stalwart for decades and Calum uses this technique a lot and paired it with pop melodies with moodiness.
'Into The Dark' 'Happy Now' and 'Fingertips' all deal with the subject of relationships, telling stories of break-ups and heart-ache. It seems that Calum, just can't help 'falling' for that person who leaves him hanging without even giving him a chance of 'closure' as we hear on 'Fingertips'. They just won't answer his calls. I guess the good thing about wearing your heart on your sleeve though and having a music career, is that even if they don't answer your calls you can write some damn good songs about it all and upload it all onto the internet. If one day those lost loves wonder what you are doing they'll find the songs, realise their folly and call Calum back. I just hope he hasn't fallen for so many love-interests that when that day comes he'll have to return them the favour and switch his phone off.
'Fingertips' starts with Calum's voice over some gentle delayed dampened guitar work chiming away in the background, the rhythm section comes in, syncopated, just before that distortion pedal gets stamped on for the chorus and a melody with pop-sensibility as I mentioned earlier.
Calum is obviously a highly accomplished song writer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. I especially like his track 'Happy Now' where he generally sounds pissed off by his latest love-interest who has let him down and left him. I can actually hear his feelings in the way he performs the song, there is anger there. Similarly 'Brother in Arms' has a heavier sound and is quicker paced and it seems like behind the polished surface Calum has thus far presented lurks something darker and much more raw. In fact listening to Calum's live performances he really can snarl in his vocal delivery but occasionally something feels restrained in his recorded material. I just get the sense that he is holding back a little and if he removed some of the restraints he would reach an entirely different level; maybe I just want to hear him 'howl' a bit more like he does in 'One for the Road', especially on these recent, much more rock influenced tracks.
To get a sense of the scope Calum's work just compare 'Ready or Not' 2019 with 'One for the Road' and 'Happy Now' 2020, it is an impressive range and It's equally impressive for Calum to be releasing a single every month. Very much looking forward to hearing what's in store next.