Album Stream Premiere: Calhoun – Paperweights EP

Calhoun - Paperweights

Fort Worth/Dallas synth-pop band Calhoun weren’t always so overtly synth-y.  The band was initially a vehicle for the singer-songwriter efforts of founder/frontman Tim Locke.  And in 2006, during the recording sessions that Locke was putting together for an as-yet-untitled project, Calhoun was inadvertently formed, and their debut album, Calhoun, began to take shape.  Following up that record with 2008’s Falter • Waver • Cultivate, which they recorded with Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, The Walkmen), the band set out on a series of extensive tours opening for bands such as Elf Power, The Helio Sequence, and Explosions In The Sky.  And it was here that their follow-up, Heavy Sugar, was written and brought to life.  It was at this point that the band started to fracture and separate, and some of the band members went their own ways.  But distance can’t keep a good band down, and the remaining members of Calhoun began the arduous process of writing and recording the songs for their new EP, Paperweights (out now on Paperweight Records), by sending the different pieces of the tracks back and forth between Texas, Louisiana, and New York — the current residences of the various Calhoun members.

On Paperweights, the band seeks to distance themselves from the more songwriter-esque roots of their previous releases and looks to incorporate more danceable, synth-led rhythms into their shimmering pop aesthetic.  But far from seeming to intentionally buck their own past for something more of-the-moment, the sound of Paperweights is one of expansion and exploration.  The sense of intimate evocation is still first and foremost the driving force behind Calhoun, but they’ve painted their canvas with a much wider and brighter collection of sounds and melodies.  It’s a pleasure then to hear them wrap glistening harmonies around strands of technicolor synths without sounding like they’re pandering to any current musical fad and simply reconstructing their own influences into a cohesive whole.

Beats Per Minute is pleased to premiere the album stream of Calhoun’s upcoming EP, Paperweights.