EP Review | RISCAS – ‘Calypso’

Calypso is the new EP by Birmingham indie pop band, RISCAS.  The four piece have been quoted to take influence from indie legends; Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club and The 1975, so it’s no surprise they’ve come to experience the exposure they have. The band boast support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, Virgin Radio and Louder than War. They’ve also amassed 96,722 monthly listeners on Spotify.

Let’s see what all the fuss is about!

The EP kicks off with Complex as its opener, the only explicit track on the 4 song EP. The anthemic track is a great pick for this position as well as for the first single from the piece of work. Frontman, George Maycock’s vocals are in full force, his voice being showcased with great rawness alongside great guitar riffs, shouting ‘I’m gonna save ya’. The track explodes with youth, lyrics such as ‘I spend it all on ya trainers’ making the EP one of familiarity in youth.

Following this is Hide Away. The intro to the track spills positivity while lyrically, the track is based around feelings of loss of purpose, creating a real juxtaposition in the tracks sound and its lyrical content.

The track kicks off with the lyrics ‘So what’s the point, so what’s the point/ I got a job but I’m still broke’ which is then compounded by ‘She don’t believe’ and ‘So hideaway/ So hideaway’. Again Maycock’s vocals soar, but what’s really interesting is the exploration of such relatable emotion for many 20 somethings, including that of low personal fulfilment, expectation and reality almost being juxtaposed in the sound versus the lyrics.

Again sonically, Dance is another track with really interesting nuances in its production. To begin, the track is rather mellow and emits a sense of vulnerability. However, this all changes when the lyric ‘And the beat comes in and it gets bigger and bigger’.

Production wise, the beat does literally come in and get bigger and bigger which calls for really satisfying listening to say the least. The influence of The 1975 can definitely be heard here, the larger portions of the song almost mirroring the sound of The City by the band.

Closing the EP is the title track, Calypso. This track almost seems like a proposed remedy to the issues mentioned in the previous tracks, the line ‘it’s summertime, it’s summertime even when there’s snow outside’, having great poignancy.

The sound of the track spills a bucket load of positivity while putting forward the message of taking the time to find beauty in amongst struggles, perhaps focusing more on the summer aspects in your life, almost as shown in the EP’s cover art. Maycock expels ‘I’m so confused/ I’m so confused/ I don’t know what to do/ So why don’t I jump on a plane and go wherever I like/ Again ever I like/ Just to see the sunshine’, here literally giving means to get away from the dull aspects of life and explore your happiness.

All in all, this EP is one of greatness. The four tracks have great coherence which makes the EP understated but brilliant. Attention to detail is rife, and I think that really puts a mirror up to the hard work put in by the band to achieve their level of success. Although the tracks are set up well for live shows, its versatility can be extended to Autumnal listening for great reflection and contemplation.

An album next?

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October 2018
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