IT IS REVIVED!
Callers, a New Orleans-duo-turned-Brooklyn-quartet, know how to name an album. Packed with energy and surprise, Reviver leaves listeners feeling refreshed. This record, though notably less folky than its predecessors, maintains the jazzy, rhythmic aspects that characterize Callers. In ten tracks, Reviver covers an entire spectrum of groove, from end-of-the-workday headphone tranquility to summer rooftop party force.
Through every song, one aspect of the band’s sound constantly prevails: Sara Lucas’s vocals—so chilling, so clear, and unignorable. Her voice possesses a Florence Welch quality in its effortless power. Lucas never actually belts. Instead, she builds up to her vocal precipice and leaves us dangling there, begging for mercy. Without argument, “Heroes” stands out as the best track on the record. Lucas demonstrates not only her pipes but also the whole band’s ability to surprise. Like her voice, the instruments build delicately as they layer to form a beautiful product. Rather than mirroring the melody, the guitar parts respond to it in cool, bluesy tones. Under it all, the drums transform from a simple, easy beat to several technically complex fills.
The title track continues to deliver. Guitars routinely vary, sometimes stopping completely to allow the bass to leap forward. Each part moves in and out, shows itself for a moment, then draws back, and collides during the chorus into a powerful, confident proclamation of awakening. As the title infers, this song is one about rebirth. Not only does it sound energizing, but the lyrics also ring out triumphantly: “We are older than ourselves and I am your reviver.”
With a voice capable of eeriness like Lucas’s, Callers sometimes toe the line between lovely and lofty. The key is that these slip ups, such as the dragging intro of “Turning,” are simply moments, rather than entire songs. Just when a track droops, a new instrument kicks in or Ryan Seaton lends a tenor. Reviver emanates confidence, spirit, and an ease that can only come from a band whose members operate on the same wavelengths.