“Every day I wake up and I try to be better than the days past.” Words to live by right there, and the opening lines to musician Calvin Love’s reflection of his new EP Ecdysis. Sung straight from the heart with a mouthful of grit, Love’s blend of folk-pop is captivating and pleasantly familiar, almost like you’ve heard him before, once upon a dream. A veteran of the same Edmonton scene that gave us Mac DeMarco, Calvin Love is breaking through some serious thresholds, and holding down the May residency at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles. So catch him tonight, if you know what’s good for you (it’s free!), and read our interview below. –Maya Eslami
WHAT YOUTH: Your songs have a cinematic quality to them. What kind of movie are you soundtracking?
CALVIN LOVE: The movie is called The Outer Layers, and it is a Sci-fi/Thriller/Romantic/Comedy.
What bands did you grow up listening to? Who inspired you most musically?
Dire Straits, The Clash, Hendrix, Leonard Cohen, Thin Lizzy etc..
When did you start making music? What drove that passion for you?
I started playing guitar at age 13, one of my best friends started first, then my other friend and current drummer starting playing the drums, I soon followed and we had a band. Making and writing songs around 19, 20, the main vehicle for passion was the energy and excitement.
Your song, “Warm Blindness & A Cool Breeze” gives me a George Harrison vibe. Do you try to emulate anyone in particular when writing your songs?
No, I don’t emulate while writing, I don’t listen to any music while writing, I have gotten the George reference a few times and I love Slide guitar. I had a Beatle phase in the early years and George is the man.
Tell me about your latest EP, Ecdysis. Ecdysis, for those who don’t know, means shedding old skin. How do you relate to this title? Are you in a state of transformation with the new album?
I’ve just realized a lot of my stress in the past has been from trying to control situations, when in the end you can’t. At all. So I’ve given up that control, in life, in creativity and now just go with the flow! And through failure I consciously try to better myself with every day, month, and year. Shedding yesterday’s skin and Soaking life up like a sponge.
Your residency is coming up at the Bootleg. Anything special we should look out for?
I will be playing new songs as well as experimenting with old stuff. Every Monday night will be a chance for me to share my work and for you to be taken to another moment in time.
And after the residency, what’s next?
I will continuing writing/demoing my LP, and I’m doing a solo tour In Europe.