REVIEW: Lauren Calve “Shift”


Lauren Calve – Shift – Drops Sept 1

With a bit of an intense musical approach, the title single track (dropped May 26) is appealing as Lauren’s sweet vocals have an accessible potency. The song sounds like it might need a more penetrating vocal. No matter, the showcase is solid & Lauren has a focused soulful vocal that has vitality & a bit of a neo-country noir ingredient. The song features a brawny guitar with several other little additions that add atmosphere.

Lauren Calve

An even better track is “Everything at the Same Time,” which lets loose with a varied scope of Lauren’s vocal range. Quite an impressive performance done tastefully, consistent & with a musical radiance that leaves it both commercially resilient & artistically nurtured. The guitar solo could’ve been a little more melodic since the tune strikes a creative balance.

The 10-track Shift (Drops Sept 1-Independent) was recorded in Nashville & produced by multi-instrumentalist Dex Green the set finds Lauren taking listeners on a journey of self-discovery, change & self-reflection. “Pretend To Forget,” is a little more rhymical & country in nature but when Lauren adds a little touch of percussion she takes the song into a bouncier attractive area. Lauren’s vocal soars nicely on the latter & the tune is energetic. She does it again with the more delicate “Deep In the Hollow,” with fluent guitars & percussion.

There are moments that shift between various integrated strengths – “See You Again,” is slow but potent like Jeannette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde. A near-approach to blues that simmers in a country stock. What I like about this is Lauren’s pronunciation of certain lyrics – makes the song unique. The lead guitar take on this tune is subtle & beautiful.

Each new album by any artist should be an improvement. Not so much in material but discipline. The sillier songs recede & the more thought-provoking lyrics & musical attributes elevate. If not, then maybe you never had anything to say at all. Artists shouldn’t get into the business with the intent of “being like” someone else. Emulation is not art unless you bring something new to tip the scales. It’s that thrust that reveals the expressive flip of the coin. Lauren Calve has style & substance. She flips the coin.

Highlights – “Shift,” “Everything at the Same Time,” “Pretend To Forget,” “See You Again,” “Plug Me In,” “Ring Them Bells” & “Deep In the Hollow.”

Musicians – Lauren (acoustic guitar), Jared Reynolds & Robert Kearns (bass), Fred Eltringham & Marlon Patton (drums) & Audley Freed (guitar).

CD illustration by Lauren. Color image courtesy of Sarah Danelli. CD @

Enjoy our previous coverage here: REVIEW: Lauren Calve’s “Wildfire” Flexes Roots-Americana Muscle

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