Arts and Crafts
Calvin Love is a vision of future’s past. The crooner from Edmonton, Alberta, should come with a hoverboard and neon should flicker as he walks. There is a sequin blazer that adorns the singer’s torso that’s couture for 2020, as if depicted from 1983 whilst drunk on white wine spritzers. His second LP ‘Super Future’ is steeped in familiar, yet retro-futuristic tones – the kind modern historians would have predicted music to sound like when gathering up a projected dossier of what the future might be like; slotted in nicely next to robot butlers, flying cars and a utopian society.
‘Super Future’ is a smooth lounge record but one where there’s faded day-glo strip lighting and clunky cyborgs serving drinks while patrons decked out in silver foil outfits gaze upon Love’s sequin bedazzled figure. Sonically, the Canadian’s latest effort is a sparse affair, drum beats are rapid and mechanical, guitar lines slither with an automated precision and pulsing bass lines inject a certain provocative whiff to proceedings. The nucleus of ‘Super Future’ rotates around Love’s plaintive vocal, which bestows a disembodied quality that is almost android in delivery. If Hot Chip and Metronomy had collaborated in the 80s, during the financial crisis with the main objective being a minimal, aural document of the future – they’d have arrived at something that resembles Love’s sophomore outing
It’s an album that’s difficult to penetrate, akin to that acquaintance you’re on nodding terms with but having a full conversation is unheard of. However, when thrust into dialogue with ‘Super Future’ it’s pleasant enough but an awkwardness can occur when dealing with the repetitive, minimal arrangements. Equally, Love’s vocal, on slower tracks resembles a disconnected mumble rather than an attention grabbing croon. ‘Creepin’ is the starlet’s most engaging moment while ‘Daydream’s lethargic murmurs do exactly what the song’s title suggests.
The hints of the future fall short and anything super flies just wider of the mark for Love and his minimalistic lounge pop from a distant future’s-past.
Words and thoughts of Adam Williams