Callaghan – Best Year review

British born singer/songwriter Callaghan move to Atlanta for a rare collaboration with one of her main influences, Shawn Mullins, four years ago. After releasing her debut full length on that side of the pond and selling over 10,000 records, she’s now back in the UK with the release of her second album, A History Of Now, which is to be released this year in late spring. Best Year, which featured on her debut record and appears on her upcoming one as a re-recording, was released last Sunday and holds high promise of what to expect from the record.

In America, Callaghan’s had more than simply sales to mark her achievements – playing South By Southwest and a 25 date house show tour are more of the notable notches in her belt, and on this side of the water she’s gained airplay on BBC Radio 2 from Bob Harris, as well as featuring in his BBC 4 documentary. Speaking of the upcoming album’s title, Callaghan muses that “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.’”

It’s easy to compare Callaghan to the likes of KT Tunstall, with her soaring, upbeat vocals make waves through the track; fit to burst with reflective optimism, there’s a summer vibe in the songs that’d make it perfectly suited to an open air festival sing along. The full length twelve track offering was recorded in Nashville, and this single holds distinct country undertones everyone associates with the area, inspiring the traditional feel-good atmosphere of country music.

Although some of the lyrics dip into clichés, Callaghan makes it clear in her intonation that every word of the song is honest and stripped of exaggeration, that the four years in America that Best Year were written about lived up to being “the best year of our lives”. Callaghan’s voice perfectly complements the music, both fitting with the fit-to-burst happiness of the video – after an introduction from a live show, the montaged video features clips of Callaghan’s time in America, from busking to book shopping. If this is a fair example of what to expect from the album, there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be a tremendous success.

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