The debut EP from multi-instrumentalist Cal Stamp (Spirit Animal, Record Heat) finds him brilliantly stepping into his own sound while giving subtle nods to the great music that he’s inspired by. The tracks that make up the initial batch of songs found on NYLON come from a larger sample of music from Cal Stamp’s planned trio of EPs. Stamp described the direction of the material by stating, “All these songs could easily coexist on the same record. They’re essentially my take on 1980s guitar pop, but within that you’ve got the more synth-driven yacht rock of NYLON, the sun-soaked SoCal jangle of DENIM, and the straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll of LEATHER – each representing a different strand of my own musical DNA.” With a breezy, 80’s new wave sound paired with breathy vocals and excellent production, Cal Stamp is setting off on the right foot.
Starting off the EP with the lead single, “Hey Amy” is a great choice, and it’s combination of The 1975-esque guitars matched with Stamp’s croon make for a remarkable song to launch his solo career. The 80’s sounding song feels like a breath of fresh ocean air, and reminds me of the care-free days of summer vacation. “Be My Girl” follows and features some cool guitar riffs and beats reminiscent of a Michael Jackson-type slow build of a song that crescendos to a majestic chorus built for longevity on the radio. As Cal Stamp describes it, “‘Be My Girl’ owes a lot to Tom Petty. The song’s about a couple down-and-out strangers who just need a little company. It’s delivered with a playful mix of swagger and vulnerability – something Petty was always very good at.” Rounding out the main part of the EP with “Trapped In Paradise” reminds the listener of the beauty of songs built around textured guitar riffs, subtle synths, and picturesque vocal imagery. Stamp mentioned that the song is “…about a plane crash in the Garden of Eden. It’s about loving somebody who doesn’t love you back. It’s a sad-boy singalong with a healthy dose of 80s pop nostalgia.” The EP also includes acoustic versions of two of the songs, and makes for a nice way to close out the record.
Cal Stamp has certainly piqued my interest for the rest of the material that will follow his first of three solo EP’s, called NYLON. I’m a big fan of the direction he took on this short collection of songs that are perfectly timed for the change in weather from spring to summer. NYLON could very well be your soundtrack to your next trip to the beach.