Calvin Goldspink’s debut EP, The Lemon Tree, dropped at a few weeks ago. The five tracks each offer listeners a glimpse into different abilities of Goldspink and create the musical variety and mixture needed from a debut LP. The originality of his sound is obvious with ‘Intro’, a very short instrumental piece that encompasses strings and a solid beat in a haunting fashion. It’s unique and unusual, and sets up ‘Lemon Tree’ well, with its layered vocals and hypnotic chorus. ‘Superman’ is likely to become the smash of the EP, and with a music video on the way, it definitely looks to be so.
The new sound of Calvin Goldspink is a long way from his earliest ventures into the music scene – selected by the newly-reformed S Club 7, Calvin was one of the S Club Juniors, who evolved into S Club 8 and I Dream. “I’m very proud of the Juniors stuff,” Calvin explained when I spoke to him. “It’s something I did when I was a young lad and to have people to have still kept track of what I’m doing is really nice. Through hard times it’s kept me going, to have the support behind it. It’s great to have old fans there, and I’m excited to get other people behind me and to move forward and find a new group of people too.”
The Lemon Tree may just be Calvin’s way of doing that. He’s come into his own, writing the tracks, performing them, and working with producer Rob Torres to create the EP. “I wrote all of the tracks myself. I got to a point where I felt that I actually had something to offer musically, and I took a swing at it. It’s been the best reception to music I’ve had so far and it’s from doing things myself rather than other people’s things.” Performing music written and created by other people since he was 11 years old, Calvin finally appears to have come into his own. “I’ve come from a background of not writing my material, so I’ve seen the other side of it and been the other side of it. As you grow up you find the blockades in your art, and I’ve felt like I’ve been running into a wall trying to find my style instead of other people giving it to me. This is from being young in the industry, I started when I was 11, so it was getting the confidence and as soon as I had that and the life experience and felt I had something to write about it opened up a whole new door for me.” His involvement in the entire creative process of The Lemon Tree is something that he is also proud of, and feels is necessary: “I think it’s imperative in this day and age to be an artist and a writer and a singer. I couldn’t go back from that. From a performing standpoint it’s a much greater sense of achievement when you’re on stage it’s you that you’re performing. I think is imperative to connect with your music when you’re performing it.”
With LA currently being a hubbub of creative types and activities, Calvin has found his time living there crucial to his musical development. “LA is like a melting pot. California definitely has its own sound compared to the East Coast. Every person is creative – you’ll struggle to find anyone that isn’t in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles – and people come from far and wide to be there. It gives you that sense of competition to push yourself harder, and there are so many people to collaborate with.”
‘Superman’, with its emphasis on Calvin’s voice and featuring a very catchy chorus with emotional integrity and musical maturity, has already received a remarkably positive reception from fans who regularly tweet Calvin to compliment him on the song. It’s popularity lies in its ability to seemingly appeal to a great mix of people – its upbeat without being false, and contains obvious lyrics shadowed by brooding emotions. It’s a rare sort of song that manages to dance with its listener, and haunt them after it has finished. A music video for the track is one the way. “Doing my own video for my own music was a sense of achievement,” Calvin proudly said, “There’s just something about having your own product. It’s nice to be proud of something that you’ve made, and it’s come out of yourself. To do a music video for my own song too was a landmark for me.” The video has been put together by a “buddy” of Calvin’s and contains “quite an artsy look, but very movie like”. “I think the imagery of music is so important”, Calvin continued, “I thought it was important to do a story video that didn’t have a run-of-the-mill ‘band playing a song’. I think it’s a bit done.”
Fans will be awaiting that with bated breath, but in the meantime, Calvin can be found playing The Bedford in London on December 10th. His EP is available through iTunes, but “As far as music’s concerned, this is the EP to test the water.” It certainly is, as Calvin said, “a really good taste of what’s to come.”