Earlier this month, British born singer/songwriter Callaghan released her second album, A History Of Now. The record has been written over the past two years, a follow up to her critically acclaimed debut Life In Full Colour, which sold over 10,000 copies in the US, where she has spent the past four years. Speaking of the album’s title, the musician says, “we are all, right now, writing a story which will one day fascinate someone. The way we live, the decisions we make, and the moments of hope, grief and happiness which punctuate all our lives will one day make someone stop, think and wonder. All of us are writing our own ‘history of now.’”
Although the album boasts twelves tracks, it’s difficult to choose a favourite off the record among Callaghan’s special blend of acoustic, rock and folk, putting upbeat, lifting tracks alongside slower and more sentimental numbers. This might sound like a recipe for a fairly schizophrenic track listing but in fact it’s anything but, with the singer/songwriter striking up the perfect balance in the myriad of genres.
Callaghan’s optimism shines through in the record, with opening Crazy Beautiful Life, buoyancy encompassed in the Lady Antebellum meets Sandi Thom sound. The following two tracks – understated and passionate Who Would I Be, sounding rather like it came off a rom com’s soundtrack, and heart on sleeve Noah’s Song – are both fan orientated. With the former being a thank you to the support she’s received from her supporters over the years, the latter features guest backing vocals from a 9-year-old, whose grandfather donated to Callaghan’s Pledge Campaign.
Emotive piano ballad I’ll Take You Away leads straight into lead single Best Single, written about the four years she spent in America and making a name for herself in the Nashville singer/songwriter community, a long awaited dream come true. Returning to the piano, Lost is a honest masterpiece, heartfelt and sincere, showcasing Callaghan’s songwriting capabilities alongside her vocal talent.
After soaring Green Eyes comes uplifting and spirit raising Free To Be, single material with its catchy chorus and endlessly cheerful melodies. Written about falling in love for the first time, When You Loved Me is a reflective piano lead piece, tinged only the slightest with melancholy, before endearing Parachute grips the album with a gentle loving longing and trust.
Though Last Song would have been a fitting close to the album with its apt lyricism and feel of a finale, joyful We Don’t Have To Change The World is a perfect closer. Making note of Callaghan’s humble attitude and bright outlook on the world, the complex backing and creative structure makes this track the crowning glory of the album, letting the singer/songwriter highlight just how much she’s capable of.
After the success of her debut album in the US, it would seem Callaghan’s glory is set to follow suit on this side of the pond, with the variety in her music proving as appealing as the detail she pays to every moment of it. Her stand out vocals make every track a unique joy, and with the energy of a full band, she makes her personal music accessible to the majority.
Watch the music video for Best Year below.