Calpurnia made their live TV debut last night on Jimmy Kimmel. No member of the Canadian four-piece is over 18, so even if lead vocalist Finn Wolfhard has experience on TV sets (he’s known for his role as Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things), performing on this well-known program is impressive so early on in their career. The indie-rock band is signed to Royal Mountain Records and released their debut EP Scout earlier this year; they played their singles “City Boy” and “Greyhound” off Scout on Jimmy Kimmel.
“City Boy” bounces along as Wolfhard sings about pining over a city girl and how he’s a “city fool” because he fell for her. The song is set apart by an impressive guitar solo by the incredible Ayla Tesler-Mabes—arriving toward the end, the solo electrifies the song and pushes its energy right before it fades out. “Greyhound” is a chilled out, meandering track about going to a concert after a breakup and feeling depressed by loneliness. Between the two, Wolfhard can be heard still finding his voice. The forced gruffness on “City Boy” contrasts with the whinier, at times even twangy, vocals on “Greyhound” although they still reach for roughness. The band ends the song with bassist Jack Anderson swapping to a synthesizer to create a dramatic closing sweep one might hear at the end of an old Hollywood film.
Calpurnia have influences rooted in garage and indie-rock variants, as well as punk, most easily seen through the artists they’ve covered, including New Order and Mac Demarco. They’ve also covered Twin Peaks—their version of “Wanted You” from last year is the first video on their YouTube channel—the influence of whom can be heard distinctly on Calpurnia’s “City Boy” (particularly in the vocal arrangements). Cadien Lake James of Twin Peaks produced Scout, and his role as mentor to the members of Calpurnia is evident in their posts about the recording process. Colin Croom, also of Twin Peaks (keyboard/guitar), played keys on Calpurnia’s debut and Josiah Marshall of fellow Chicago band Whitney filmed the “City Boy” video. Although from Vancouver, the group is finding community among these established Chicago bands and will be performing in Chicago later this year at Riot Fest.
I love my band mates and I love the team that helps us and I love that we released our first EP today cause that is pretty cool!
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Calpurnia have a smattering of tour dates lined up for the rest of year, including their first hometown show in Vancouver on Dec. 21. Find full tour dates here.
You can watch Calpurnia perform “City Boy” and “Greyhound” on Jimmy Kimmel below and find a performance by Twin Peaks from the Paste archives further down: