Calva Louise and the EP Doing Electro Punk Before I Knew It Was Cool

The Butterfly Effect is probably the most prevalent piece of Chaos Theory. Edward Lorenz explains a beat of a butterfly’s wing could lead to rainfall on the other side of the globe. This is similar to how my dip into electro-punk via CLT DRP (whose debut album I reviewed here) has led me to Calva Louise.

Really though, it should’ve been the other way around. How I missed this when it came out last November, I have no clue. ‘Interlude for the Borderline Unsettled’ brief exercise in futuristic ferocity, and in the greater context of the band, a fantastic bridge between their early-2019 debut Rhinoceros and 2020 EP POPURRí.

Opener ‘Belicoso’ in my favourite track on this EP, by a considerable margin. Opening with feedback akin to an air-raid siren into a distinctly glitchy sounding octave-layering guitar riff – from the first beat it’s a banger. While the verses are happy to continue that chiming glitchiness, it’s the chorus that gets properly heavy. With a cry of “We are Belicoso” over a properly fuzzed-out bass sound, there is some significant heft to this track.

With just that, this would be a pretty cool song. In my opinion, the part that elevates it from just that is the second verse, which brings an entirely fresh lyrical approach – new both rhythmically and linguistically. Basically, it’s in Spanish. Google translate shows the lyrics as in line with the ramblings of a conspiracy theorist, taking the general lyrical theme and running with it. Overall, it’s 2:55 of what would be a disservice to describe as anything but ‘going hard’.

Second track ‘Sleeper’ continues on a similar vein. While generally more musically unexciting than ‘Belicoso’, it mixes in near-synth guitar riffs amongst the overall heaviness to still sound pretty epic. While not the most lyrically complicated, the bridge-ending refrains of ‘I wanna hunt’ and backing ‘Hoo ooh ooh ooh ooh’s form a supernatural tone. These are in keeping with the lyrical themes of being unable to tell consciousness and dreaming apart, and a fall to a near-feral state. Relatable.

Next, ‘Adelante’ may be my least favourite on the EP, but it’s still a tune. With the air of a film about a spaceship whose crew are blissfully unaware of their impending doom, it’s certainly tonally distinct. It also features an astonishingly savage guitar solo, the likes of which you could imagine Matt Bellamy of Muse letting rip with to a packed Wembley stadium. Some bits (the computer meaning) are getting crushed, and it is wonderful. Lyrically it matches the musical tone down to a tee, with Spanish sections of the chorus describing the approach of the titular Adelante to kill the listener/potential doomed spaceship. Honestly, just get it on your Halloween playlists.

With a new EP out since, building further on their electro influences and more new music on the way, Calva Louise look set to take the alternative scene by storm sooner rather than later. 

Keep an ear open for October 16th, and fingers crossed for live music soon, where I’m sure they’ll be as excellent as they are on record.

Listen to their more recent EP, POPURRÍ here:

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