The Callas Am I Vertical

The Callas – Am I Vertical?

Two years after the release of “Objekt” which received enthusiastic reviews, The Callas are back with their new album, produced by Jim Sclavunos.

The album is titled “Am I Vertical?” (an allusion to the poem of Sylvia Plath “I Am Vertical”) and is released by Inner Ear on vinyl, cd and digital album.

Noisepop minimalism, raw garage melodies and kraut psychedelic elements, meet and create the kaleidoscopic universe of “Am I Vertical?”.

On their new album, The Callas are mixing their experimental art and film background with their addiction in pop tunes presenting an album which pervertly balances between darkness and light, innocence and sin, joy and lust.

The acquaintance with Jim Sclavunos started when he saw The Callas for the first time performing live in London and asked them to open a concert of Grinderman. When he heard the first demos of “Am I Vertical?” he happily agreed to do the production of the album. Additionally, in half of the tracks of the album Jim Sclavunos performed on drums and co-write the lyrics.

I first met The Callas at an Artrocker event in London at which they were performing as a minimalist three-piece consisting of the brothers Aris and Lakis Ionas and Annita Polychroni. Accompanied by a moody light show, their music was a blend of fuzzed-out improv and perky punk-pop songs with a melancholic edge. Throughout the performance they kept switching instruments, and the music just became darker and stranger. Their lyrical imagery was poignant and vulgar, banal and surreal, trite and mysterious, somehow all at the same time — while being sung by a man with one of the most peculiar accents I’ve heard! They invited me to collaborate with them as their producer; and as bait to lure me back to their hometown of Athens, Greece, they promised of lots of delicious Greek home-cooking — which was mind-blowingly good, by the way!
Despite the baking-hot summer weather in Athens, the energy level surrounding this project was very high. In fact, working with them on their album was a genuine pleasure. We had only two weeks in which to record and mix the entire album, so we hit the ground running and just slammed through the tracks. Nikos Angloupas our engineer was a marvel — very intuitive and musical in his own right; and The Callasettes, The Callas’ back-up singers, were the very embodiment of girl-gang anarchy, lively and lovely. The Callas are accomplished artists and filmmakers as well as musicians, so it was important to keep the artistic side of the band in the foreground, but have it counter-balanced with spirited, spunky, raw performances. I think that we accomplished that: it’s just real cool fun in the end.

Check out their Bandcamp page here.