Calpurnia are back with "Cell," the first new music since the release of their debut Scout EP. Once again produced by Twin Peaks frontman Cadien Lake James and co-producer R. Andrew Hymphrey, the track showcases a surprising amount of growth for the young band. "This song is about being taken advantage of in anyway," says frontman Finn Wolfhard. "It was amazing working with Cadien and Andrew again and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it!" The track was premiered earlier today on Matt Wilkinson's Beats 1 show.
The video for “Cell" was also released today and serves as a behind the scenes look at life on the road for the band. Guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe tells us "While on our first ever official American tour, we had the pleasure of being joined by the incredible Pooneh Ghana for our last two shows in Austin and Houston. She is easily one of the most prolific and talented photographers (and videographers!) on the music scene right now, and so we left it to her to capture the joy and adventure of packing all your bandmates into a single van and hitting the road. This video is set to our newest single, Cell, and we sincerely hope that this video makes you at least a bit as happy as we are in this footage.”
Calpurnia recently made headlines starring in Weezer’s latest video for their cover of "Take On Me." The video has already amassed more than 6 million streams with Rolling Stone writing "Wolfhard plays a young Rivers Cuomo, an aspiring rocker done-up with massive metalhead hair, who leads Calpurnia through Weezer’s rendition of “Take On Me” in the living room of his parents’ house. In a nod to a-ha’s famous music video, the clip jumps between live footage and intricate pencil animations of the band’s performance.”
Calpurnia will play several North American festivals this summer including Shaky Knees, Governors Ball and Forecastle Festival as well as Fuji Rock in Japan, all dates are listed below.
3/2/19 - Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom - Sold Out
5/5/19 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Music Festival
6/1/19 - New York, NY @ The Governors Ball Music Festival
7/13/19 - Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Festival
PAST PRESS FOR SCOUT EP:
"The poppy melody and simplistic lyrics transcend Calpurnia from a band that is literally and figuratively put on a stage to genuine young teenagers in pursuit of perfecting the modern indie-rock sound."
- LA Times
"A promising debut from the scrappy teenage rockers"
- Consequence of Sound
"It's an impressive debut for a band of 15-year-olds. Hell, it's an impressive debut for any indie rock band."
"A lo-fi garage rock banger."
"It was a commanding debut. And a hell of a lot of fun, too."
"It will blow you away."
- Harper's BAZAAR
"Calpurnia is already well on their way to indie stardom."
- Refinery 29
Calpurnia’s story is how teenage rock dreams are meant to unfold: four friends, all raised on a healthy diet of the Beatles, Nirvana and David Bowie, and a deep love for their respective instruments, retreat one day to a basement and begin jamming together. They cut their teeth on some cover songs and then, with just enough confidence and a dose of adolescent enthusiasm, they write and record their own tunes. And the results are nothing short of stunning. “It was kind of destined to be,” Finn Wolfhard says of the almost serendipitous genesis of the rough-and-tumble Vancouver-based indie-rock foursome he formed with three of his now-closest friends. “We all just really clicked. And when I’m passionate about something,” the singer-guitarist adds of Calpurnia, who this spring release their self-titled debut EP via Royal Mountain Records, “I like to get it done as quickly as I can. There’s not a lot of wasting time. I love just going for it. Go big or go home.”
The band — which in addition to Wolfhard includes lead guitarist Ayla Tesler-Mabe, a six-string prodigy whose bedroom-shredding viral videos have earned her legions of fans on social media, bassist Jack Anderson and drummer Malcolm Craig — all grew up within walking distance of one another. But it took Wolfhard — best known as one of Hollywood’s hottest young actors thanks to his role as Mike Wheeler on Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things — meeting Craig on the set of Canadian punk rockers PUP’s “Guilt Trip” music video for things to finally spring into motion. In short order, the pair met Tesler-Mabe at a music summer camp, and she quickly introduced them to Anderson, her close childhood friend and bassist. “And as soon as we started rehearsing it was just insane,” Anderson says of the quartet’s instant personal and musical chemistry. “It was kind of unbelievable. Like a gift.” Once they played their first official gig together, it was a done deal. “We had all the adrenaline we needed,” Craig says. Where they’d previously played cover songs, “after the response we got,” Craig notes, “we were like, “Let’s record some of our own music!””
Now, after spending 10 days in Chicago last November recording their debut EP with Twin Peaks’ frontman Cadien Lake James serving as executive producer, Calpurnia are primed to let others in on their inimitable union. “It’s like a four-way Venn diagram,” Anderson says of the band’s coalescing musical tastes that seamlessly come together on their six-song debut, a giddy rock riot that sits comfortably at the intersection of classic rock, punk and angsty blues. “We all have our own sounds and our own influences,” Tesler-Mabe offers, “but somehow when we all come together all our different sounds and styles amalgamate to create something new. It just works.”
It takes no more than 25 minutes, or roughly one spin through the band’s EP, to understand just exactly how well their sophisticated, diverse taste congeals into something so effortlessly powerful. From “Greyhound,” a slacker anthem recalling vintage Pavement to “Louie,” all Exile on Main Street-style country-blues slide guitar and choirboy harmonies, to the spaced-out closing opus “Waves,” Calpurnia’s songwriting craft belies not only their age but their experience as a collective unit. “It was super fun watching these ideas come to life,” Anderson offers with supreme modesty. “Seeing the stuff we’ve been working on for so long reach its full form is incredible.”
The earliest evidence Calpurnia meant business came in mid-2017 when they uploaded a video to YouTube of them covering Twin Peaks’ twangy “Wanted You.” And the ingredients were all there — Wolfhard’s mop top whipping with reckless abandon while adding a gravely growl to the Rolling Stones-flavored tune; Tesler-Mabe laying down a fiery solo; Anderson stretching out a driving bass line; and Craig laying down a dutiful rhythm. Soon they were playing at a charity event in LA “and immediately all of us were like “We need to write together,” Wolfhard recalls.
Having been a longtime fan of Twin Peaks, and struck up a friendship with Lake James over the years, Wolfhard was nothing short of ecstatic when the Twin Peaks musician agreed to produce Calpurnia’s debut. “Cadien really feels like all our second father or brother,” Wolfhard says recalling the Chicago sessions at Twin Peaks’ home studio – a creatively fulfilling undertaking Wolfhard calls “one of the best experiences of my life.”
Adds the singer, “They’re the sweetest warmest people. It was genuinely the most family-oriented thing. It was the only 10 days of my entire life where I never once met an asshole,” he says with a laugh. Not that there wasn’t nervousness among the band members to be working so closely with the leader of one of their favorite bands. But “immediately I felt totally at home there,” Tesler-Mabe remembers. “I quickly realized that Cadien understood what we wanted to create. He helped us create something real and in his own way helped add his own musicality and his own spirit to the record. He just totally understood the direction we wanted to go in.”
Calpurnia are anxious to hit the road behind their EP, and will be touring and writing as much they can around Wolfhard’s jam-packed acting schedule. “We’re talking about new music constantly,” Wolfhard says, noting the band gets together at every chance, and even when physically apart, they’re vigorously communicating with one another via phone and text when inspiration strikes.
Given how much they’ve already accomplished, however, Calpurnia are happy to embrace the moment. “I’d always had this idea of being in a band with my three best friends and it’s unbelievable that it actually happened,” Tesler-Mabe says. “It’s so cool that we’re being given the opportunity to just be ourselves.”