Calla Scavengers

Every so often, you have a musical epiphany. And my latest epiphany arrived thanks to Calla. Calla's music is something very special. It is beautiful, haunting and has a simplicity that could have some dismissing it after a cursory listen. It might take some perseverance, but it is definitely worth investing the time to let it get under your skin. Scavengers sounds like it could be the soundtrack to the next mythical instalment of Twin Peaks. Or it could be the album that would be made if members of Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, Mogwai and Swans collaborated, sort of. Mentioning Swans isn't without merit - Michael Gira produced the album along with the three members of the band, and Gira does add a little bit of his own personal touch to the music. The music is the closest I've heard to something that's unique in the last little while - the songs progress at an incredibly slow speed, in the same way that those of Low and Spain. But then there's a whole bunch of feedback and white noise permeating the mix in a sort of unnerving way; it just lurks in the background, threatening to pounce. The vocals are not a million miles away from those of the Jesus and Mary Chain - they have the same whispered quality that makes them an integral part of the music. Words are merely another instrument that blends into the whole wonderful sound. Moody, atmospheric and even vaguely unsettling at times, Scavengers is one of those rare albums that gets better and better with every listen. It is a complex, yet understated record that has already become an early candidate for one of the best of the year. (Quatermass)