21 Sep 2018

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Callum Gentleman - Single/Video Review: Cigarettes

10 Jul 2018 // A review by Alex Moulton

Uncomplicated, Cigarettes is the first release from Callum Gentleman since his move to the US. Having stripped the instrumental side down to the bare rudimentary elements. Quintessentially folk, Cigarettes obliges the listener to heed the story being told; The story of time spent bonding between a father and son. Accentuated with a layer of strings, it provides a well-needed backbone to the track, supporting the undulating acoustic guitar riff.

Production-wise, the track isn’t perfectly clean; the fuzz from the strings has been left in, and it keeps the track feeling genuine. There is a modesty to the song, that is mirrored in the lyrics, which often repeat lines and themes. Not an altogether dark folk track, Cigarettes portrays a sense of longing and yearning.

There are times where the words do not flow as well as they could, with too many syllables in a lyrical line, which pulls you out of the experience temporarily, but it is otherwise a story that is an unequivocal kiwi pastime; spending time outside, drinking, connecting with one’s family.

Alongside the single, is a video directed by Hayley Robertson, where the role of his father is represented by a Muppet-style puppet. Following the storyline of the song, Callum spends his time drinking and smoking with the muppet. Though the video has a different pace to the song, the vibe and emotion are still there; You can see the change in attitudes and relationship as the story progresses. It’s not too often these days that artists spend time and money on a music video, but it does add an extra dimension to Callum’s story. 

Review written by Alex Moulton


About Callum Gentleman

Callum Gentleman plays blues/folk noir with the odd dash of country. It’s Nick Cave meets The Smiths in a dark alley where they conspire to kidnap Bob Dylan and move to New Zealand. It’s Tom Waits sharing a bottle of moonshine with Leonard Cohen at 4am while binge watching Twin Peaks (original season).

He's a raconteur, trouper, chancer, and murder ballad lover. But above all, Callum Gentleman is a storyteller.

These stories come out as songs, poems, campfire yarns, whiskey-soaked bar banter. Stories about good people doing bad things, and bad people who try hard to be good...but often fail. Stories of fallen angels staring to heaven, contrite demons yearning for redemption, down-and-out junkies scrounging for a dollar, the devil gets it on with the wrong hooker. Stories told in a child's whisper, a father's tears, and a drunk man's roar.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Callum Gentleman


Callum Gentleman
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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