This article previously appeared on Crossfader
Bandcamp Picks of the Week, as large and in charge as ever
Kirin J. Callinan – BRAVADO
Genre: Art Pop
Favorite Tracks: “Tellin’ Me This,” “Bravado”
Aussie funny-man Kirin J. Callinan returned with his third album this past summer, BRAVADO. A man equally well known for his antics (i.e. posting completely nude photos from shows on Instagram) as his obscure music, Kirin has amassed a strong cult following. The first time listening through BRAVADO may leave you more confused than if you had never given it a listen at all, but it really is one of those gloriously unique pieces of music that grows on you. Part of the new indie subculture emerging from Australia, Callinan has fit right in in the United States, opening for popular indie acts such as Mac DeMarco. At times throughout the LP, the majestic melodies and enticing rhythms, complete with heavy synths, grand drums, and intense vocals, sound like a futuristic LION KING soundtrack. Callinan has mastered making a very funny album sound serious. “This Whole Town” opens with Kirin belting, “I could fuck around / I could go down on this whole town”; his obviously comedic approach to lyricism coupled with his straight-faced vocal style make for an incredibly interesting listening experience. If there’s one thing Callinan ensures, it’s that there’s never a dull moment—for example, on “Down 2 Hang” he provides a hilarious narrative about a girl he met online who is, well, down to hang. The track gives off serious Prince vibes, so it makes sense that it is very sexually charged. Taking seemingly mundane and normal events and creating eccentric masterpieces is Callinan’s forté. If the premise of a sexually deviant and constantly thrilling artist interests you, check BRAVADO out here.
Michael Cera – TRUE THAT
Genre: Indie Folk, Lo-Fi Indie
Favorite Tracks: “Clay Pigeons,” “Of A Thursday,” “Ruth”
Yes, you read that correctly. This 2014 album comes from the awkwardly esteemed fan-favorite actor Michael Cera. He debuts his musical career through the vessel of lo-fi bedroom tapes, intimately showcasing his piano and guitar abilities. TRUE THAT has an old-timey feel—almost like it’s a live recording done in a saloon in the wild west. Cera’s lovable personality proves to translate well to the scope of music—on his cover of American country legend Blaze Foley’s “Clay Pigeons,” he provides a very dynamic version of the tune, equipped with interesting finger picking and melodic vocals. The song choice is very indicative of the musical style Cera gravitate towards for the duration of the album, and delicate tunes with pretty melodies suit the soft-spoken entertainer very well. On “Ruth,” Cera tells a tale of woes and sorrow surrounding a girl he met in a “sunlit tavern.” This ballad highlights Cera’s ability to convey powerful imagery through lyricism. On “Of A Thursday,” Cera holds our attention for three-minutes-and-26-seconds through the use of piano alone, and similarly to his lyricism on “Ruth,” his piano playing on “Of A Thursday” is able to tell a story in and of itself. TRUE THAT establishes Cera’s presence in music. This album is enough to merit taking him seriously, and for an actor with the reputation he has, that is really the most important step. Check out TRUE THAT here.