Following the recent release of two highly-acclaimed singles, "Above Water" and "Strangers", Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Calvin Heinrichs releases his impressive debut Posthumous EP on February 9 under the name of his musical project Cal Trask.
The four songs on this EP provide the listener with a unified, flowing soundscape for the deep, and often dark, lyrics and beautiful, heartfelt melodies over which Calvin presents his soulful, yearning voice and genuine, very personal self.
The musical style of Cal Trask has been described as melancholic "dark pop" with echoing melodies. It is well-written, sophisticated, accessible indie, with emphasis on well-balanced piano, guitar and subtle, atmospheric keyboards. The music brings to mind the styles of Jeff Buckley, Ásgeir, Tallest Man on Earth, Bon Iver and James Blake.
The lead track on the EP, "Above Water", was my first introduction to Cal Trask, and one that continues to blow me away with its simplicity, striking melody and poignant lyrics about hope and carrying on: "Just trying to keep above water, keep above water, trying to keep my head above the water". The song's accompanying video is a perfect visual companion to this musical gem.
"Strangers" is a bit more upbeat, opening with gentle acoustic guitar, and addressing subjects of paranoia, and demons from down the hall, with lyrics: "Tell me mirror on the wall, do you see me at all?" and "All the things that I once knew, I'm doubting, and I lost every part of me, I'm better off without it". The occasional, subtle background whisper of the lyrics beneath the singing adds a nice touch to this standout track.
"Porcelain" slows the tempo down a bit with its soothing, steady piano and melodic chorus. The lyrics encourage finding solace, offering support and letting out heartache, secrets and pain: "You've got bones made of porcelain, covered by your fragile skin" and "I'll chase all the feelings that your ghosts bring to my bed, and I'll brace for your demons and erase them from your head"
The final track, the outstanding "King of Hearts", is touching, emotional, and deeply personal. The lyrics very poignantly and honestly address the unexplained loss and lingering grief that often follow the suicide of a loved one. "King of Hearts" is presented from the perspective of the first on the scene and the burden they bear: "I'm kind of relieved I was the first one to see, spare them the grief, give the nightmares to me". They say that music is sometimes the best therapy, and I believe this speaks true for "King of Hearts", as a musical and cathartic means for coping: "I'm here singing your eulogy and I'm so sorry, and I'm so sorry".
Aside from the four amazing compositions on the debut EP, I highly recommend checking out Cal Trask's incredible piano cover version of Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box" on YouTube.
The Posthumous EP was recorded in early 2016 at Stureparken Studios (Stockholm, Sweden), produced by Calvin and Andreas Unge, mixed by Simon Nordberg, and mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering.
Cal Trask is currently in Stockholm recording his upcoming full-length album due out this Summer. An official kickoff EP release show takes place February 9 at Obaren in Stockholm, followed by a tour through Europe.
For more information and upcoming news, follow Cal Trask on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and check out the official Cal Trask website.