[sic] Magazine

Callers: ‘Fortune’

(Western Vinyl)
Reviewed by: M Henaghan

Callers, a Brooklyn , New York quartet, call upon the considerable vocal efforts of Sara Lucas, a singer well versed in New Orleans Jazz traditions, and Ryan Seaton’s raw, coarse and folk-inflected guitar style to mould their distinctive style. ‘Fortune’ doesn’t offer up any instant gratification, you really need to sit down with this record and give it the time and respect it deserves. Those who do stick with it will find that it slowly unfurls into a rewarding and engaging album, with little nuances that you might not have picked up on before coming to the fore with repeated listens.

They’re at their best when they allow their tempered aggression to flow. ‘More Than Right’ being a prime example, surging with Lucas’ bluesy, sirens drawl, the thumping, earthy percussion and Seaton’s deliberately measured harmonics. The album title track also conjures a similar smoky, dingy blues/jazz club vibe, with Lucas’ voice again impressing, resonating with shades of Grace Slick. ‘Rone’, on the other hand, highlights a different side of Callers. It’s a floating, folky ballad in the vein of Vashti Bunyan, where Seaton particularly excels with a virtuoso acoustic solo banked a top gorgeous shimmering electric guitar harmonics. Such efforts recall that of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. The hymnal ‘Ste. Genevie’ closes ‘Fortune’ rather suitably, wrapping mantra-like vocal harmonies around a beatific acoustic template, proving lack of immediacy shouldn’t detract from the quality of an album – if anything, it should be considered as a mark of a great recording.

At just 34 minutes long, ‘Fortune’ is succinct, but you’ll be left in no doubt as to the talent this particular troupe possesses, carving out their own intoxicating niche, while recalling music of yore. This reviewer can’t help but recall various labels of the past, especially Joe Boyd’s essential Witchseason imprint, as Callers seem to embody the spirit of everything that label stood for. Western Vinyl deserve a mention too, they’re developing a legacy of their own that already includes Slow Six, Balmorhea and now Callers. It could be that, in the future, this label will be recalled in the same hushed tones usually afforded to the greats of the 60’s and 70’s.