Calhoun

Falter.Waver.Cultivate (Artist Garage)

Five-piece Fort Worth indie pop rock act Calhoun really doesn't get the credit it deserves—which is saying a lot, considering how it walked away from this year's Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards with wins in both the Best Songwriter and Best Song categories—and at least one prominent figure in the regional music landscape would agree: Producer Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, The White Stripes). Sikes—whose production on area discs can sometimes be, well, lackluster—clearly put some effort into this disc, which, although just now earning national distribution, has been a staple in the players of knowledgeable area listeners since late spring.

And rightfully so: Falter.Waver.Cultivate walks a fine line between the lush and the delicate. The former, one assumes, owes thanks to Sikes, but the latter must be the work of frontman/songwriter Tim Locke, who every bit earns his Best Songwriter title here.

The first five songs are breathtaking: "Breathe" is an earworm of a sing-along; "Freedom in the End of Everything" is a foot-tapper tailor-made for drive time; "Hunting" is a heartbreaking pop ballad; "Drifting" shows Locke's storytelling capabilities; and "Apocalypse (A Love Story)" finds Calhoun channeling Arcade Fire. The remaining six tracks aren't exactly forgettable, either. Indeed, Falter.Waver.Cultivate is a disc worth remembering.

 
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