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Meet… Calamateur

June 29, 2010 by  

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Meet… Calamateur

Calamateur releases his new album Each Dirty Letter in August via Autoclace Records. EP Banoffee is released next month and his Flaming Lips cover of Feeling Yourself Disintegrate was featured on Gideon Coe’s BBC6 show this week.

Calamateur is the name under which singer-songwriter Andrew Howie records and performs. Based near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, Andrew has been recording and releasing his own music since 2000.

Influenced by the likes of Sparklehorse, American Music Club, Elliott Smith, Moby, Iain Archer, Aereogramme & The Blue Nile, his music has been played by John Peel, Radio 3’s Late Junction, the Scottish Evening Session on Radio 1, and local radio the length and breadth of the country.

‘Each Dirty Letter’ is the best Calamateur album to date. It’s just that good. With all the usual Calamateur sonic palette present (electronica, mellow acoustic guitar, aggressive electric guitar, drum loops, etc.) ‘Each Dirty Letter’ sees these aural ingredients used far less as pure texture than on previous releases and far more in service to the songs. And such songs!

Undoubtedly the most personal songs he’s released, ‘Each Dirty Letter’ is an ideal place to start if you haven’t tried Calamateur before, and a Must Have item for confirmed fans.

Although ‘Each Dirty Letter’ is the fourth album length release in the increasingly huge Calamateur discography (including 2003’s double length ‘Son of Everyone EP’) and the third official album (after 2004’s ‘The Old Fox of ’45’), and last year’s ‘Jesus is for Losers’, it’s the first to have been conceived and recorded as a cohesive whole. From the slyly mellow, acutely disturbing songs like opener “Change This World”, and “A Bad Friend” through to the gorgeous, delicate duet with Jo Mango on “Retreat”, and rock numbers like “Testimony” and “Honesty”, there are musical and lyrical themes that recur and tie the whole thing together, making it hard to skip around the record, or pick favourite tracks, since it demands to be listened to as a whole.



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