“Punk is a DIY attitude; to step forward without any restraint and fight like a warrior until you achieve what you were aiming for.” Jess Allanic
From the meek to the mighty, even superheroes experience growing pains. Yet, whilst the world finds itself in peril, there’s a squad succeeding in their mission to save us all from ourselves and fight for a greater good; their name? Calva Louise.
Devastatingly fierce to the power of three; from Venezuela, is Jess Allanic, with unapologetic guitar shredding and incendiary vocals to stun those who stand before her. Turning bouncing into an Olympic sport and with a flourish of her fine-lined illustrations, she’s joined by Ben Parker, from New Zealand, with the strength to pummel a drum kit into submission whilst adding a splash of colour with his knack for impeccable graphic design. And from France, bassist Alizon Taho; a tech whizz building a wall of noise with thundering rhythms and hand-built pedalboards.
As Calva Louise, they’re an unstoppable force. Since embarking upon their adventure together at a London music night, the trio’s quest has grown from an innocent chat about graphic design to jamming, joining forces with Modern Sky UK and unleashing forthcoming debut album Rhinoceros – a dramatic fusion of the band’s broad skill set. “I’d been working on ideas for a story about the process of learning who you are,” tells Jess of what’s become a 100-page comic and lyric book; part-homage to the misadventures of Locke & Key and The Sandman they read growing up. “It’s an abstract science fiction story about the meandering thoughts you have as a young adult; questioning who you are and your purpose, whether you’re the person you want to be, what life is and realising it’s more fun than what it’s supposed to be,” Jess reveals.
Naturally metamorphosising into enthralling melodies of fiery hooks and raucous fuzz, the band and their coming-of-age tale unites worlds of imagination with truth through punky picaresque brat pop. “We enjoy adventuring into reality with a pinch of humour and optimism,” tells Jess of the record and video for ‘I Heard a Cry,’ which sees friends of the band transform into rhinos, akin to the satire of Candide by French avant-garde playwright Voltaire and more explicitly, Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. “Alizon and I read Rhinoceros at School and it stuck with us, even though it was written in the 50s,” recalls Jess. “Even at 12 years old we related to the main character’s journey of learning how to stay true to his values and not follow the herd. Rhinoceros is about that path of learning who you are.”
Recorded at warp speed in just 10 days at North London’s Hermitage Works Studios with producer Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Goat Girl, Catholic Action), each album track sucker punches like the soundtrack of a Robert Rodriguez flick. ‘Outrageous’ is a riotous call to arms to rival Wolf Alice’s tender and explosive moments or Blondie at break-neck speed whilst the fairground waltz of ‘Getting Closer’ would only enhance the action of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World or Baby Driver’s zoom cuts. “Those movies have amazing rhythm,” Alizon tells, “the music matches the story and it’s so well crafted, like directing an orchestra.” Affirms Jess, “Rhinoceros is no concept, it’s an explosion of our ideas and us pulling them together the best we can. Music is a unity and it’s the platform where we translate all that is hard to put on to paper.”
A sonic boom waiting to happen, Calva Louise now reside in in Manchester and word is spreading as fast as the music. Already they’ve been tearing up the airwaves with support from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Abbie McCarthy, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, Radio X’s Communion presents, and Amazing Radio. Meanwhile Clash and DIY have hailed them as rebels with a cause and Fred Perry selected the band as their ‘Best New Music’. Summoned to support Spring King, The Blinders, Hunter the Bear and Albert Hammond Jr on tour, 2018 has seen the trio leaving a trail of beautiful destruction from London to Glasgow, which only looks set to continue in 2019, starting with a full run of UK shows in March. “We’re kind of like nomads; we go where the music goes,” says Ben.
Powers combined, Calva Louise are arguably the most authentic and fearless punk-pop trio on planet earth, ready to unleash havoc on the conscience, with music that will save our souls.