EP Review: King Calaway – ‘King Calaway’

The short version: (insert fire emoji here later)

  • Favorite tracks: All of them!
  • Least favorite track: None of them!
  • Rating: 10/10

The long version: Y’all.

Let’s put aside those authenticity arguments away for this particular review, because today, we’re dealing with something special. No, there were no recordings or YouTube videos of King Calaway prior to their formation, but you just knew there was something special with this band. Six white guys teaming up to sing crooner ballads is new ground for country music, and while I’m late to the punch talking about their debut EP, there’s definitely something special going on here.

King Caillou describe their sound as, “a layered vocal sound that nods to the band’s influences, including the Eagles, Keith Urban, and Ed Sheeran.” (insert link attributing quote later lol) It’s no wonder they were just able to play the Grand Ole Opry with no qualifications! And those influences show on this debut EP. “World For Two” begins with slick acoustics and crack-a-lackin’ snap tracks before unfurling dreamy piano and the band’s lush-a-licious harmonies. There’s six members, so identifying who sings what is rather difficult. Of course, that doesn’t matter. At least one of them is singing! Anyway, the world’s too much for our narrator, with everything hitting him right in the feels such as the pressures of picking the right Instagram filter.

And that electrifying guitar solo. Woah. Whoever went into their falsetto during that one part, I stan it! That’s the crutch of King Calamine Lotion’s music; they’re dealing with the pressures of the world and just want to hang with their girl. The soul-shaking groove of “No Matter What” only accentuates the fact that the struggle is real for these two lovers trying to make it … no matter what! On the other hand, the woman on “I Do” should have known our narrator wasn’t ready to commit. He’s young and living off daddy’s money the dream!

In fact, these girls are just downright mean on this EP. On “Love The One You’re With,” our narrator has to (gasp!) settle for mediocrity rather than be with the girl he truly loves. I say again, the struggle is real. I couldn’t imagine having to care about someone despite it bringing them endless happiness (probably). Poor King Cauliflower.

And after all that, the album ends with the staccato, electric guitar driven ride to heaven, “Rivers,” a song where the band mostly sings, “like rivers.” Whatever. It’s a banger.

In the end, there’s nothing to criticize about this EP. Not even the fact that there’s six of them wanting a world for only two people. If King Calculus prove anything, it’s that when life gets you down, all you need is to find a girl, and everything is solved! This truly is a band that, “embraces its country roots and reaches far beyond them.” (insert other quote) This is hot-blooded R&B meets brassy, shag-carpented funk, danceable disco and breezy beachside soul, joining classic balladry, new school honky-tonk and above all, twangy authenticity. It’s like Dan + Shay but with more pluses. Rock on, King Calendar!

(Strong 10)



(Happy April Fool’s Day, everybody)

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