Monday, January 18, 2010

No Shortcuts

To say that Her Name is Calla, a Leeds / Leicester / York group is special is a profound understatement, almost as profound as their music and what may stand behind it. Indeed, every artist is, I'd like to hope, is unique in their own way. I believe that aside from the inescapable outside influence, the artist has to have something original, in content, form, point of view or any other mark of distinction, to contribute.

I find that the best of these contributions defy any categorization, that it is simply to be felt and experienced. Her Name is Calla possesses such an emotional core that would offer glimpses into not only the members' hearts but also the listeners'. It gives the impression of loneliness and isolation, living together but apart, a distant promise of something more, of an endless spacious road going on to the horizon. And the band doesn't take any shortcuts. The road has no end.

Go out to the open, away from buses and cities, and listen. Her Name is Calla latest single, "Long Grass", may sweep you off your feet, and once you're on the road, there's no telling where you may end up. The full length album, "The Quiet Lamb", is expected to be released by spring, followed by a tour for those lucky in Europe.

Check out Her Name is Calla on their website, MySpace and

Her Name is Calla - Long Grass {MP3} (hosted for a limited time only)
Her Name is Calla - Long Grass (acoustic) {Video}

Sunday, January 03, 2010

A Voice in the Wind: Paul Masson

2009 was not a good year for me. Its end in particular more than hints ominously of things to come, foreshadowing grim news and grimmer prospects. I lost several people I love who were my supporting pillars ever since childhood. My current job is in its final days and while the search for a new one continues, nothing tangible has yet been found. Accompanying and clouding all of this is my addiction to my own private world (perhaps in more ways than one), turning whatever reason I have left in my sleepless existence into a murky and blurry mood.

But there is still a little hope left. I may be sitting on a wind beaten precipice overlooking the abyss, but it's also quiet enough here and I can still reflect on the road I've been taking and the people who share it. I can still hear the song in the wind, calling out to me. "Change or Die", it taunts. "Come home", it whispers.

Paul Masson came back home to Baltimore after being away for a few years. Coming back, he crafted a beautiful and honest EP about himself. Reflecting his memories and feelings, doubts and fears, he focused it all into six songs that continue to echo after the music has gone out. Hear his voice carried in the wind.

And as for me? No New Year's resolutions except to keep my ears, eyes and mind open; there are still voices in the wind.

Check Paul Masson on MySpace for more tracks. His EP is available on iTunes.
Paul Masson - My Girl Baltimore {MP3}
Paul Masson - Where Have All the Gentlemen Gone {MP3}