Words and photos by Keira Anee
It’s always a mix of joy and sadness when a band starts to get recognised. As a photographer, broadly speaking, I photograph the absurd and wonderful reality of being around what I guess you might call ‘underground’ music. Small budgets, lots of DIY, lots of realness and laughing at the insane absurdity. I guess the expectation is that when a band takes the step up, this changes. And to an extent, it does. However, Calva Louise had already travelled continents to form, so this was always going to be an exception.
Last week I was a behind-the-scenes photographer for the ‘Tiranito’ video shoot. (Yes mama! Me!).
“I can’t work out which is my favourite…Belicoso, or Tiranito”, I hear Jack Howard, one of the Directors of Calva Louise new video for new single, “Tiranito’ say. He’s right, it’s tough: though I am compelled to add there is a whole library that contend equally, too. Perhaps what is notable about these two songs, is their title being in Spanish. Tiranito – meaning ‘tyrant’ – is sung largely in Spanish.
On first listen (I’m sadly very typically British, in that I can say ‘hola’, then have to say ‘adios’) I don’t know anything but the title. The power, POWERRR, of the lyrics however, produce an amazing venom. One I’m certain, would not translate into English so much like walking into an unexpected lamp post.
Calva Louise guitarist and vocalist (and songwriter, ahem) Jess was nervous about this release being in Spanish; but felt the same way. There was a politeness in English that just didn’t sit right. I have to say, now having heard the translated lyrics, this is the song I wanted to hear the whole of last year. It rages, unbounded, about feeling like not caring about anyone but yourself – and not caring. Not a ‘fuck you’ – a ‘FUCK THIS’. I for one am so glad to hear Jess screaming this! Of course, polite girls don’t scream that they don’t care what you think.. right?
There’s a certain black or whiteness about this in that it really is so powerful to hear someone say that they don’t care. And yet, we all know what that feels like. It is incredibly cathartic to hear it in such a powerful song – not least of which, Jess notes, ‘the biggest Tyrant is myself’. (I can already see myself listening to it on the tube, giving the guy across the way evils for stepping on my toe).
All of which I mean to say is, this song is real on a level that transcends language. To let go and feel – even the ‘impolite’ feelings – is something that feels amazing.
As amazing as this song sounds, and I’ve not even mentioned the music yet! It hits hard, and feels good about it, is about the best I can do it justice. The video is extremely satisfying, suggesting a dark joy and fulfilment in expressing something, seemingly, so dark.
This is not by any means a humble release, and I adore that about it.
“The way people treat each other, is just… They’re disgusting. They’re disgusting. The fucking… taking” Ruth says, in Netflix’s ‘I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore’. I hear you, Ruth. This song hears you!