An artist to watch, indeed. Singer-songwriter and dynamic pop-rock recording artist Cal Stamp unleashes his second magnetizing solo EP entitled DENIM.
Cal Stamp has received vast praise from media publications, from Rolling Stone to Chrous.fm, dubbing him an act to watch this year. He's proved himself as a force to be reckoned with through his blend of pop and rock, leading him to share the stage with acts like America, The Struts, Fitz & the Tantrums, Third Eye Blind, Incubus, and The Cult.
Now, the pop-rock artist is continuing the momentum with the second entry of a trilogy of EPs; DENIM follows the May 2022-released EP NYLON, showcasing Stamp's fresh take on vintage guitar work, sing-along choruses, and character-driven lyrics about lovers and losers.
The DENIM EP kicks off with the upbeat introductory track, "Run Right Back to Me," where Cal Stamp jumps through the speakers with his radiant vocals and lush acoustic guitar. The song's infectious beat gets our feet tapping while Stamp blesses us with hopeful lyrics of rekindling a flame with someone special. It's a sonically-delicious song that invites listeners to kick back and turn up the good vibes.
Jumping into track number two, "American Wasteland," Cal Stamp continues the energy with lively pop-rock instrumentals that glitter and gleam through the speakers. As Stamp serenades us with his melodic vocals, he discusses the American Wasteland we live in, where broken hearts run a muck in search of someone to love. This ear-pleasing song takes us back to the simplicity and passion of 1980s pop-rock but with modern production flips and flairs.
Landing on the EP's third and final track, "Don't Make Me Wait," Cal Stamp slows things down while turning up the emotion with his picturesque and loving lyrics. The song's lush instrumentation floats through the speakers while Stamp chills listeners with his persistent lyrics of promising to return for someone special. This feel-good and spirited song is the perfect way to close such a brilliant EP, fueling listeners with good vibes left and right.
It doesn't get much better than the radiant pop-rock stylings of Cal Stamp in his sophomore EP, DENIM. Find the refreshing new project on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Cal Stamp. We loved every second of your refreshing and passionate sophomore EP, DENIM. Was there a particular theme or concept you wanted to tie into this project?
Thank you! DENIM is my heartland rock EP – think Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, and Bruce Springsteen. Growing up, my family would take long road trips, and I would hear songs like “Free Fallin,” “Jack & Diane,” and “Born in the USA'' on the radio. I wanted to make something like that for the modern palate.
What life experiences inspired the many passionate scenes and lyrics in your EP, DENIM? What would you say was the driving force of inspiration behind this project?
Ironically, I wrote “American Wasteland” on a beach in Nicaragua. I was paired with Kevin Rudolf at this songwriting camp in Maderas Village called Jungle Cuts. Kevin is best known for his 2008 mega-hit “Let It Rock,” but he’s written and produced many big songs for artists ranging from Cobra Starship to Keith Urban. Anyway, we started kicking around ideas, but we were a little stuck, so I pulled out an acoustic guitar and showed him this chorus I’d been sitting on for a while: “Just another American wasteland/Broken hearts and cracks in the pavement/We’ll sing it out at the tops of our lungs/Everybody wants someone else to love.” He immediately connected with it. He came up with that big opening acoustic riff, and we were off to the races. Once we tapped into the heartland thing, the song pretty much wrote itself. When we finished, he looked at me and said, “You should do a whole record of stuff like this.” And that’s more or less how the project was born.
Does DENIM continue the story of your debut EP, NYLON? How do these two projects relate to each other?
NYLON and DENIM are the first two installments in a trilogy of EPs. The third, LEATHER, will kick off in January 2023. All these songs were initially conceived as part of one record. Still, as I worked on the sequencing, I noticed they fell pretty neatly into three distinct categories: NYLON’s more synth-heavy yacht rock, DENIM’s acoustic-driven heartland rock, and the straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll of LEATHER. It all draws from 1980s pop-rock, inspired by artists like Tom Petty and Don Henley, but once I realized I could break it down even further, the left side of my brain couldn’t resist.
What was your favorite part about creating the personal and passionate EP, DENIM? What did you appreciate most about the process?
I don’t love framing it this way, but this project largely came together during the pandemic. After that writing camp in Nicaragua, I came home and set up sessions all over the place – New York, Nashville, LA, and Miami. One of the people I wrote with was producer Ryan Petersen. He offered to help me put the record together and produce it when I was ready. So when the pandemic hit, I went down to his studio in Nashville, slept on an air mattress on his floor, and we recorded the whole thing in two weeks.
What inspired you to create a trilogy of EPs? Should we expect similar passionate and upbeat pieces on your upcoming EP, LEATHER?
One of my core songwriting philosophies is that every chorus should feel like a burst of sunshine hitting you in the face. That holds true for the songs on all three EPs. The production and verse melodies on LEATHER might feel a bit darker and moodier, but they always give way to some kind of uplift in the chorus. It’s just the way I like to write songs. I can’t help myself.