credit: Andrew Bennett
To attempt to put Calliope Musicals in a specific category would yield a variety of labels; a psychedelic folk band, an experimental art collective, or even a high energy, circus-esque performance group. In actuality, Calliope Musicals is all of those things. Hailing from Austin, Texas, Calliope Musicals is widely known as a band of charismatic, vibrant musicians who capture the eclectic vibe that permeates through the Live Music mecca they call home. Their intrinsic authenticity and talk-of-the-town stage show has already provided them with musical accolades including write-ups in Billboard and Paste Magazine. Their single "Party Master & the Space Brigade" was featured on NPR Music’s “Songs We Love” and The Austin Chronicle revered them as "Technicolor folkies [who] concoct eclectic dance-rock jubilee for the barefoot crowd." KUTX's Austin Music Minute said "Equal parts folk, roots and pop, Calliope Musicals blissfully spins multi-colored psych with arms outstretched to dizzying heights. Approach with open heart, open mind and open ears. Needless to say, this will make you happy."
Already a creative staple in the Austin music community with live shows that are exuberantly contagious, Calliope Musicals have no plans of slowing down. This year they will release their highly anticipated full-length album, Time Owes You Nothing, on April 15. The album was produced by Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Cold War Kids), mixed and engineered by Gavin Paddock and Andy Dalton and mastered by Pete Lyman, (Pat Benatar, Jason Isbell, Banks, Ben Harper). According to front woman Carrie Fussell, the album, which was recorded at Fairfax Studios during a month-long stay in California, is "colored with excessive amounts of Jesus Christ Superstar…what came out is an album that inspires us and one that we hope will inspire others to push boundaries and be their favorite version of themselves.”
While the band describes their style as psychedelic party folk, the actual sound—a harmonious blend of drums, guitar, bass, a hybrid instrument known as a xylosynth and Fussell’s powerful voice—is hard to define and varies substantially by song. What is consistent, however, is the element of storytelling that courses through every track in the Calliope catalogue.
“Our music centers around a certain energy more than a certain style,” the perpetually barefoot Fussell says. “We’ll do rock, then dance-y disco, then some slow sit-down [songs]. At the end of the day, it feels like the music revolves around imagination and adventure more than it does a specific type of music.The vibe we want to create is the feeling that the audience is part of the creative process and part of the performance,” says Fussell. “I think we always just hope that people leave our show feeling empowered and inspired—like they can do anything.”
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