Shoegaze pop having a late-night mental wobble.
‘I don’t wanna be another mistake that I regret’ sings Candy on the track ‘Reaper’. It’s part of the narrative that the rocker Calum Newton twists and turns with across his latest album. If you enjoy rock, then there will be something here for you as Candy does a bit of everything. Then he adds a wall of noise to it for fun.
Candy really doesn’t sit still on his genres though. Fancy a bit of glamorous jazz with your rock? Take a listen to the slick ‘Buried in the Ground’. Want a slice of crunchy riff Americana? Have the pointed ‘Affirmation Fixation’ about stemming boring chore anxiety. ‘Avalanche of Pain’ and the superb anthem ‘Challenger Deep’ expertly channels shoegaze and Brit Pop despite the fact the Candy is American. Closer ‘Silent Spring’ reminds me of Throwing Muses but with Supergrass as a vocalist.
Each track has a Candy approach to it though. There is a T-Rex Marc Bolan vocal twist to the music and most definitely an underlying low-fi hippie production to the album. It means that even when Candy channels The Cure with ‘Clean’ and ‘Who You Are’ – it has an 80s classic feel to it… just with a homegrown edge. The wall of sound that shoegaze is associated with is never far away. It just transforms into the genre that Candy is running with.
The one common thread that ‘A Pull To Heal’ has throughout is its lyrics. Each song has a mundane everyday quality to it then offers up a pearl of devastating wisdom. It’s like a kitchen sink drama where someone drops emotional bombshells whilst casually cleaning dishes. I love how it catches you off guard. The overarching theme is death and how it awaits us all. Candy catches us in moments of daily routine and huge revelations and how they can run side by side.
‘A Pull To Heal’ is a complicated album. It is one that mixes bedroom rock with big whammy hooks and quiet town ideas. It wants to be sad, euphoric, healed and anguished together. It absolutely wants to rock though and that will see Candy through to brighter times and inspirations ahead.