The Calazzus Project are back!

The Calazzus Project are back!


Film soundtracks are often unfairly dismissed by movie buffs and music enthusiasts alike as just the replaceable background sounds of what is ultimately a character driven medium. But how narrow minded is that perspective, really? Some of the greatest moments in cinema have been highlighted by the music that accompanies the movements of the actors. Is a love scene really the same without the passionate, longing sound of a serenading rhythm and blues vocalist? Is the death of a beloved character as emotionally jarring when not accompanied by the melodic melancholy of a reflective ballad? The fact is, our very interpretation of these scenes, and films as a whole, has literally been influenced and shaped by the accompanying soundtracks we’re presented with. Much in the tradition of the legendary artistic stewards that are responsible for the foundation of modern soundtracking, multi-instrumentalist Calazzus seeks to enhance your senses and enlighten your emotional outlook with his eclectic, eponymous indie pop vehicle and latest studio recording, The Calazzus Project II.

I wasn’t familiar with Calazzus’ work when I first listened to this newest EP from the DC-area based songwriter, but my first impression of his style (via the song “You”) was significantly stronger than anything I could have expected. There’s shades of classic funk in his rhythm and plenty of pop polish to satisfy the Billboard crowd, but there’s also a really forward thinking instrumentation that I can’t quite describe. It’s like Calazzus has his finger on the pulse of a developing subgenre of R&B that is thoroughly indebted to indie rock but also fearlessly experiments in harnessing the power of atonal white noise. It’s brilliant and fascinating to listen to, and it isn’t the only treasure to behold on The Calazzus Project II.

If you’re curious to see the backend chops Calazzus has, check out the psychedelic tinged bass and sensuous vocal on “Asking For.” With a cocky strut and refined allure in her delivery, Shauna Cardwell reaches right through the stereo and knocks us down for the count with her vocal range. Her verses are as delicate as spun glass, and the cool tempo of the aural tidal wave forming behind her almost makes it feel like we’re watching mayhem in slow motion, appreciating the sophisticated beauty of every crash and bang.

Whether you’re a fan of R&B, hip-hop, electronic music or rock, I think you’ll find The Calazzus Project II to be a more than competent, captivating extended play from a truly accomplished composer dedicated to the authenticity of his craft. The most important attribute of any artist is their level of devotion to what they’re doing, what they’re creating out of the ethers and sharing with us, the huddled masses desperately in search of some sort of expressive outlet in this mad, mad world that we live in. I haven’t met him personally, but if his music has taught me anything about his personality and artistic identity, it is that Calazzus not only respects the ethos of his medium, but he celebrates it.

Michael Rand

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