Review: Calgary James – Bay Cruisin’


Ransom Note regulars, stay with me on this one. Though you might be a tad shocked to find these pages being filled with piano-led sounds that feel like they could have been ripped straight from the soundtrack of <insert popular culture reference to moderately successful RomCom> there's a fair bit more hidden away within this new EP from Calgary James than first meets the eye.

Once you get over the original shock of the fact that everything you're listening to hasn't been made on machines you'll notice a slightly psychedelic edge that'll have you reminiscing about the good old days, when everything was in black and white and we had no idea what on earth a 'facebook' was. These sounds feel wonderfully rustic in places, as though they belong in an old fashioned barn, yet once you dig a little deeper there are all sorts of clever little sounds penetrating the calming core as they seamlessly enter your mind and make rapid changes to your daily routine.

'My Dog Bruce' is just about my personal favourite as it drives at a sound that feels a little closer to home while the background explores the possibilities of just how far a sound can take you away from where your body may be resting. It's almost as though you're playing an old-school arcade game and this music is playing while you watch your character receive a lecture from a supposedly older and wiser character (both of which are entirely fictional, mind) and feel enthralled despite the 8-bit graphics that could so easily have been updated by now.

But where would the fun in that be? Sometimes you just want to indulge in things that bring the memories flooding back and get that grin plastered across your face as though you had no control over it any more. This might not be something that you'd expect to be letting into your heart but Calgary James has got a real talent for striking the very essence of what makes us all love music so much. It's pretty special.

Bay Cruisin' is out now – grab yourself a copy here.