Music Review: Is There Anybody Alive Out There/Something’s Changing by CALM

CALM - Press Shot
© Louie Cameron
Five-piece indie outfit CALM have taken a DIY approach to their latest double release. Both tracks having been written and recorded during lockdown reflect on the feelings of isolation. This however does not mean that the songs are all doom and gloom if anything they are the complete opposite.
Who are CALM?

“CALM are a five-piece indie outfit emerging from London. Keeping it a DIY approach, all songs are self-produced out of Adam’s bedroom. Having garnered support on their early releases from the likes of Tom Robinson at BBC Radio 6 and Dave Monks at BBC Intro, the band are making waves into the new decade with fresh music. Their single Sucker recently featured on Netflix show ‘Terrace House’ and has been added to its Spotify editorial playlist. Their debut show was supporting Dirty Hit’s King Nun and have also opened for the likes of Childcare, Neon Waltz, Paris Youth Foundation and The Dunts.”

CALM - Artwork
© Louie Cameron

Starting with a bang, Is There Anybody Alive Out There is an instant mood booster with its 80s pop vibe that smoothly slides into an indie-pop melody. This is not something I was expecting to hear from a song that I was told was about how it feels to be in isolation however it definitely has its moments of joy. “Is There Anybody Alive Out There reflects on feelings of isolation and being cut off from the outside world during the last three months, wondering who and what will be left once things return to some sense of normality”. 

As strange as it might sound to say that a song focused on the current quarantine situation will make you want to dance, this song will make you want to dance. There are no moments of pause within Is There Anybody Alive Out There and the track only continues its upbeat stride throughout.  

Something’s Changing continues the joyous feel of this double release. Again this is a song that will make you want to dance, even in the sometimes more melancholia days of isolation. It feels wrong to say that a song which focuses on the possible aftermath of a pandemic has a happy impression however I challenge anyone to listen to either song in this release and not feel uplifted from doing so. 

The vocal tone on both tracks is nothing shy of beautiful and the melody reflects rich stylings of early Blossoms, a clear influence for the band. To say Is There Anybody Alive Out There/Something’s Changing were produced during lockdown in lead singer and guitarist Adam James’ bedroom is impressive. Which makes the entire release even more so impressive is finding out that everything was done in house, including the artwork which was created by bass player Louie Cameron. 

The 80s pop vibe on both tracks is what I believe makes Is There Anybody Alive Out There/Something’s Changing songs that can be enjoyed by almost anyone.

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