By Andy McFerren
Inspired by punk, ska and indie rock, Callery Pears does more on this EP than some artists could aspire to do in a lifetime. That may sound like hyperbole to some, but I stand by it.
Dear Friend—at 6 songs long—has a little bit of everything for everyone. For example, the first song begins with a wonderful 8-bit, lofi jam that BMO would rock out to and ends with a fanfare fit for a king with lead singer Max Astle yelling, “’cause I like that,” like he’s responding to Kirk Cousins’ infamous hypothetical question.
Similar to the quiet verse + loud chorus of the ’90s, Dear Friend’s signature sound is the juxtaposition of minimal sound and turning it up to eleven. When you least expect it, the horns come cascading down to combine with the near desperation in the vocals, creating a sense of earnestness only true passion can provide. This makes the EP a conversation nightmare – meaning if you want to have a conversation while listening to this EP then you better be ready to adjust the volume constantly or not have a conversation at all.
Any song on the album is a perfect example of this juxtaposition, but it’s even more apparent on the song “I.C.P.” “I.C.P.” is a microcosm of the EP as a whole. This is not your average love song. It’s unpredictable just like a pre-2005 M. Night Shyamalan plot twist. One second it’s an acoustic midwestern emo love song and the next it’s like The Office theme song blaring at a volume a thousand times louder than the episode itself.
I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the lyrics. There are some true gems in there like the following from “Six Figures”:
“You overlooked your shit-shined motives
And failed to recognize that joy comes as we
Emulate our best selves
Not imitate the best of somebody else.”
If it were the ’90s, these guys would be discussing whether or not to sell out and sign to a major label. Well, no need for the hypothetical. I know for a fact these guys would never sell out. You know how I know? Go get on their Instagram. There’s a recorder cover of “Starlight.” That’s integrity. That’s art.
I don’t think I can have any criticisms outside of subjectivity, so check out my favorite song, “Six Figures” below.