JCCalvet is a musician from New York who graduated from Berklee College of Music, worked as an engineer and eventually released RESIZE THE UNIVERSE. That’s a pretty grand name and it’s obvious just by reading his Bandcamp page that he wants to cover just about everything possible. He explains that “with topics about the universe, humanity, love, time and their absence, he seeks not only for the listener to get him, but for them to be one step closer to getting themselves.” In fact he goes into some additional detail on his bandcamp page if you want to read more.
These songs definitely feel as if they are trying to tackle big themes and ideas both in execution and topic. This isn’t easy and in fact in my twenty-five plus working in the music business I’ve learned that if you are setting a high bar for people that’s exactly what they will expect. I’ll admit after I read all the info on Bandcamp including that he is a “genre-bending scientist of the word and sound” that my expectations were extremely high.
I’ll say up front I was impressed by the songs and overall thought this was a great release. There were a wide variety of styles and sounds. The EP starts with “RESIZE THE UNIVERSE” which begins with delicate and warm guitars, what sounds like a xylophone and subtle singing. The chorus goes for epic in an M83 kind of way.
Up next is “half asleep” which begins with an intimate vocal performance. When the guitar fades you get the feeling he is going for something ethereal and when it combines with some of the wind instruments there is a combo of beauty, wonder and happiness. Towards the end of the song, it sounds a little like Sigur Rós.
“her” is a little more subtle and melancholy before it gets to the triumphant chorus with a surrounding organ. His vocals are expressive and emotive on this song. “SIBILANCE” was a highlight. The song combines orchestral elements with a more rock band foundation. I really liked the instrumentation especially the strings and piano. The chorus is definitely epic in a good way.
“a tree” was a very much needed intimate song that doesn't try and hit the dynamic crescendo that the previous songs do. It’s fairly stripped down and intimate. He closes with the very dramatic and thematic “6 A.M. (nightmare sequence).” There is very cool sound design here especially in the beginning which ties together a number of disparate elements. The song leads to an intimate piano performance which questions life in a number of different ways. I liked how it ended abruptly.
RESIZE THE UNIVERSE is a seamless release with powerful and intense songs. Take a listen
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