Finally – that’s the overall feeling hearing that the new album Calendar from electro-pop band Baseball Gregg is out. With previous tracks “The Movies” and “Hong Kong Hike” already released, the build-up to the remaining 10 tracks on Calendar felt palpable. Samuel Regan and Luca Lovisetto, who comprise Baseball Gregg, do not disappoint – Calendar is a hit. Based in Stockton, California, via Bologna, Italy, Lovisetto and Regan continue to make their case for a strong fanbase.
Right out of the gate “Toursong” feels warm and giddy. Watery guitars and sticky drum machine beats meshed with falsetto vocals give this song a summery sound. The next track, “Waiting (featuring Sleap-e)” is another sleepy music bed. It’s dreamy and has this cascading keyboard effect. The beat feels slightly 60s lounge. The vibes continue to excite on “Young”, “Pleasure and Pain” and “The Breeze (featuring Zelma Stone)”.
“Gratitude (featuring Medicore Café)” is stunning. The lights seem to appear, the world seems to stop hearing that music bed. “At first I can’t pretend, that I’m not afraid” go the lyrics. One can surmise that they are jumping into a new relationship, a new journey. This song grabbed me.
“Powdered Sugar (featuring Boy Romeo)” is another head turner. It’s not as thrilling as “Gratitude” but it’s a fun track nonetheless. Vocally, the cadence is a bit predictable and while the lyrics don’t evoke the same way the other tracks do, it’s still a nice little song. I didn’t quite listen to this one as much as the others.
One track that really surprised me and I couldn’t stop listening to is “Slow”. On the service the vibe feels beachy and bright. Lyrically they sing “the lyrics have been changed, the melody stays the same” and one gets the sense they are describing being in a rut. We’ve all been there – living Groundhog Day, day-in, day-out. Something about “Slow” gives me joy. The warmth coming from the music bed and the calming vocal delivery. The idea that life can be slow is certainly made into something of stark beauty in the unforgettable “Slow”.
“Never Bored featuring Jimmy Kraft and mnngg” is the last track on the album. The whistling is contagious. Lyrically they sing “I’m afraid I haven’t lived enough, I’ve done so much on my own.” This line made me ponder; I kept going back to it and wondering if they meant it as learning lesson. The vocals are nearly whispers, hushed slightly to the back of the whistling and the throbbing guitar pulse.
Big picture wise, Calendar really pulls together the quirkiness and blazing artistry of a band like Baseball Gregg. Calling themselves experimental is a great description – these guys really explore different sounds, but they always seem to have a core sound that is inviting, soothing. Maybe it’s their vocal delivery or the charm in the keyboards -either way, their songs make gray skies feel acceptable. While the songs might not be happy-go-lucky, they seem to re-write the idea of what traditional pop can sound like.