by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Cal Fish is best known as one of the core members of New York's Turnip King but in recent years he's been developing an impressive catalog of his own avant-garde indie pop. Following a few self-released albums, Fish is set to release Cassette Traveler, his "official" debut album on January 27th via Fire Talk Records. The album is full of delightfully skewed lo-fi and glitchy bedroom pop that remains forever unpredictable in it's songs-as-artistic-collage mentality. Much like peers The Cradle, Palberta, and The Lentils, Cal Fish's debut manages to blur all genre lines in favor of his own aesthetic choices; free of convention, undeniably challenging, yet instantly gorgeous and surprisingly accessible.
The record's first single "Is It Jood?" is full of esoteric beauty and lo-fi driven pop experimentations. Fish builds sounds on top of each other with warped guitars, drifting flutes, programmed beats and nature samples blending together in a fog. The combination of the instrumental tracks and the atmosphere around it has a natural feeling even as Fish manipulates the sound to drag rhythms, detune melodies, and cloud your senses. It's like a gorgeous fever dream you hope will never end. As the song questions, "is it good, if it feels good?" and the value of feeling "right" in a land where so much is wrong, the video captures melted-VHS inspired tour footage and a grainy look at consumerism... or maybe its just some mall time antics. Either way, the warm colors and twitchy tape edits offer a perfect visual match for the song.
Cal Fish's Cassette Traveler is available for pre-order via Fire Talk Records.