Calder the Band: ‘Shape Up’
"Indie rock album filled with songs rich in melody and heart"
It’s been a long, heavy road for Calder the Band, but the Fort Wayne indie rockers have finally released their sophomore LP, pandemic be damned.
The band, which evolved from the duo Brother Gene, released their debut album Till I Get It Right waay back in 2018. Back then, Calder the Band were making a name for themselves in the Midwest as a band to watch. Great hooks, earnest lyrics; a great band writing catchy songs. When it came time to start writing the follow-up album it was early 2020 and the guys had scattered to Chicago and New York, and writing/recording ended up becoming a year-and-a-half long process.
Despite the world going into a tailspin and band members living apart, the band found a way to make Shape Up, a 10-track album filled with indie pop confections. Heartfelt and melancholy, with melodies that slow-motion float through the air like reminiscing about simpler times, Shape Up is a perfect soundtrack to a fall day.
Opener “Caught Up” starts out in a haze of sound that comes into focus to reveal an almost whimsical mood. Steady groove, playful instrumentation, and subtle vocal inflections make this an interesting and bold choice as the introduction to the world of Shape Up. “Can’t Find Myself” is a breezy pop rock track, with lilting lead vocals and an almost melancholy lean as the song teeters between gratitude and longing.
Shape Up is a mood album, and that mood is wistful. The songs here feel hard won for the band, as distance and time seeps into the melodies and mixes, and the finished product shows that road taken to get to the end. But don’t take that to mean this is a downer record, as it’s not. Some of the most upbeat moments come from some kind of struggle. “Once in a While” is a driving track, while “3rd Street” has an early ’90s sway.
It was a two-year journey, but Calder the Band arrived at the end of the rainbow known as Shape Up. It’s an indie rock album filled with songs rich in melody and heart.