Thomas LaVine drops the second track from his upcoming EP, Everwood. Tidy and with his signature mix of down-to-earth and heavenly textures, “Calico” mixes moments of minimalism with charged drives.
Starting with an almost “going backwards” feel, “Calico” quickly introduces a sparkle of ethereal guitar picking, like falling snowflakes melting into the background. Long, drawn-out synth chords root the vocals as they go from commonplace comparisons (“a house is not a home”) to nuanced and evocative metaphors (a house is “covered in the snow that knows her like a sister”).
All the while, the percussion sneakily builds, adding layers and filling in the beats. As it grows, so does the energy. The subtle power isn’t noticeable until LaVine takes it all away. At 2:13, an ambient moment of quiet feels pregnant with power from the vacuum.
LaVine is known for being abstract with his songs. “All that matters is what they become to you in the moment,” he says. And while he guides you slightly with lines like, “I made a mistake; I should have stayed a little longer,” they’re woven into a story with open-ended conclusions. There’s honest emotion, but what you take from it is ultimately up to you.
Stream “Calico” below.
Ben is an advertising Madman who spends his days with words and music. When he’s not writing for his supper, he’s eating it at some of NYC’s most interesting restaurants.