Calhoun
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Calhoun

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2006 | INDIE | AFM

Fort Worth, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2006
Band Rock Pop

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Ah, melodious song. We are swimming in pools of sweetwater listening to Calhoun’s laidback sounds. Dallas-based bands Menkena and Radiant joined Calhoun at the Kessler Theater for their Heavy Sugar album release party. The band gathered out back to play an acoustic set for YouPlusDallas despite the summer heat and hills of fire ants, which we all found out about the hard way. If you too are suffering from fire ant bites, Calhoun is the perfect remedy....... - youplusdallas.com


Fort Worth’s prize band, Calhoun, proves its lyrical and musical chops with their third album, Heavy Sugar. Lead singer and song-writer Tim Locke nimbly weaves through storyline lyrics with his polished tenor, and the rest of the band- Jordan Roberts, Toby Pipes, Nolan Thies, and Taylor Young- propels the natural bounce of these refined pop-rock tracks into a perfectly contained pinball machine of intelligence and emotion. Catchy hooks and sensitive, universally understood emotions of heartache and regret all contribute to the album’s grand appeal. Enough poetic poignancy to give it substance and just the right amount of bob-your-head, “Indian Melody” is a fantastic song of thrones, memories, and soul; and it leads directly into “Ryders”, an indie ballad with some sense of hope despite mention of bombs and pills. The beautiful harmonies and heartbeat drum introduce “Lioness” as one of the most memorable tracks of the album, but the vivid imagery and melodic explanations throughout Heavy Sugar keep this album in heavy rotation and make it impossible to sit still. To say this band has potential would be an understatement. - The Vinyl District


Texan quintet Calhoun’s almost faultless sophomore effort, 2009’s ‘falter.waiver.cultivate’, which we raved about here at A-UK, marked Tim Locke and his band out as brave sonic tunesmiths. With pleasing hints of Wilco’s sonic experimentation, a root in top quality alt-country songwriting, and also infused with Arcade Fire’s thrilling sonic textures, they certainly were worthy of praise.
Most importantly, they showed a personality all their own. Backing up that were Tim Locke’s excellently measured songs; Rich in melody, poetry, atmosphere and drama. In short, it was a lost classic that sported the tunes and the swagger that should have seen them take over the world.

Now having convened with new producer Jim Barber (Ryan Adams, Hole) for their third album, it’s so satisfying to hear a great band on completely top form; so hungry, urgent and swaggeringly confident as Calhoun sound on ‘Heavy Sugar’, which attacks with a glorious brightly lit fire and urgency that now refuses to be ignored.

This time around Locke has instilled every moment of 'Heavy Sugar' with a sense of importance, briefly brooding atmosphere and non-stop potent pop hooks. Opener ‘Knife Fight’ is a joyous roar of unobvious melodies, pace and energy that threaten to spill into a dark euphoria. Meanwhile, the wonderfully constructed lush indie-pop of ‘Thrown in the Universe’ already sounds like a fully-fledged classic. ‘Lioness’ manages to be both a tender and stately waltz that that also manages to express love with mystery and without cliché. In an album full of standouts ‘Black Coffee & Cigarettes’ really roots in the mind. A gently melodic alt-country sway; it’s Locke’s most unguarded moment, and a brilliant diversion of emotion (“Like coffee and cigarettes, no I aint over you yet...all that I get was a faded collection of many happy regrets”).

Elsewhere, ‘Snowy Day’ mixes banjos in with its propulsive drive and folky Conor Oberst-ish melody, before exploring harmonies and unexpected melodic directions (“Bombs are going off, and still my girl is as strong as steel”) There’s something either melodically, lyrically or atmospherically noteworthy to pull out of each and any of the songs here. Calhoun have managed to load this collection full of melodic twists that are thrilling, uplifting and surprising even after numerous listens.

One thing’s for certain, I will not be letting ‘Heavy Sugar’out of my sight for some time to come. - Americana UK


Heavy Sugar, the third album from local rockers Calhoun, isn’t just another item to check off their to-do list. The album shows the band's focus and passion for making new songs, while not giving listeners the same stuff they’ve released prior. Although the band's regular drummer, Taylor Young, is not on the record, his side project bandmate, John Pedigo of The O’s, is. Pedigo isn’t the only guest appearance: Eight others lend their talents to help record this sturdy album.

While the music stays firmly in the rock genre, multiple songs shift the style slightly, keeping the energy alive on the album. “Don’t Let Go” does this with a swifter tempo, bringing in an almost electric beat. The formal and sober intro in “Lioness” spotlights a serious tone. The band doesn't let their message get lost in heavy guitar work or instrumental overkill. Pedigo’s banjo comes into play in “The Engineer,” with an unconventional softness unaccustomed to the conspicuous instrument. And, the band stayed within their rock genre despite the country twang that a banjo usually brings.

Calhoun has a subtle way of telling sad stories inside cheery tunes, showing their refined talent and versatility. “Ryders” sits as one of the best tracks even though it’s the closing song; the story feels like it's wrapped in a soft blanket on a rainy day. Tim Locke's vocals show passion and truthfulness, bringing listeners to the place where the song was written and felt. Somehow, they keep up the liveliness without cranking the volume or forcing solos. The album proves that Calhoun is not just a side project.

- Pegasus News


Fort Worth’s Calhoun, that local super-group featuring Taylor Young of the O’s plus Nolan Thies and Toby Pipes of Little Black Dress, is ready to release its third full-length CD, Heavy Sugar, on May 17 via Dallas’ Idol Records.
However, Heavy Sugar will come out as a digital download on iTunes as early as Tuesday to maximize the exposure of “Knife Fight,” the disc’s lead track, on the CW’s One Tree Hill. Two minutes of “Knife Fight” will air during the One Tree Hill episode that evening. Heavy Sugar , sporting a dozen tracks, also features Calhoun members Tim Locke, formerly of Dallas’ Grand Street Cryers, and Jordan Roberts. - The Dallas Morning News


Fans of catchy, nuanced local indie-pop got quite a jolt of bad news last year when Fort Worth's Calhoun announced their impending breakup, or at least a long hiatus, complete with a "farewell show" and everything. But the disappointment was tempered only a few months later with the news that frontman Tim Locke and guitarist Jordan Roberts, the two remaining original members, were heading to the studio with producer Jim Barber (Ryan Adams, Courtney Love) to work on a follow-up to 2008's gorgeous Falter.Waver.Cultivate.

As ambitious as that album was, Heavy Sugar is no less expansive an effort. Guitars are de-emphasized in favor of banjos and synthesizers, which somehow sound perfectly natural together on tracks like the galloping "Ryders," odd as that may sound on paper. But as layered and intricate as the music is, it's less grandiose than the last effort, frequently sounding more like a gentle whisper than a bombastic shout. A perfect example is "Horsefeathers," a mid-tempo jaunt with a pretty acoustic guitar pattern and quiet ambient background synth noise. As the record title would suggest, sweetness is a recurring lyrical theme throughout, with references to honey and sugar. Yet as pretty as the music may be, the band—now also featuring Little Black Dress' Toby Pipes and Nolan Thies and The O's' Taylor Young—manages to avoid turning Locke's lovesick tunes into a saccharine, syrupy, sticky mess.

If Heavy Sugar really is Calhoun's farewell, it's a great way to go out. - Dallas Observer


Every now and then, I wonder if other area bands secretly loathe Calhoun. Not for petty reasons, but rather, because the core duo of Tim Locke and Jordan Roberts (which has endured since Calhoun's 2004 formation) make it look so darn easy.

The pop-rock band elected to take a year off after the release of its stunning 2008 sophomore long-player, Falter Waver Cultivate. Yet when Locke and Roberts decided to dive back into songwriting, recording and performing -- drafting Toby Pipes, Nolan Thies and Taylor Young to re-form Calhoun -- it was as though hardly any time had passed.

The end result is the delectable Heavy Sugar, which also finds Calhoun, for the first time, casting its lot with a record label, Dallas-based Idol Records. It's a smart move, placing a dedicated proponent of quality local music behind one of the region's most confident acts. It also helps that Heavy Sugar is an assured collection of songs that only serves to reinforce just what an incredible songwriter Locke is.

Produced by Jim Barber (who has collaborated with Ryan Adams and Courtney Love in the past), Heavy Sugar moves easily from gorgeous, up-tempo ballads (Thrown in the Universe) to self-doubting soliloquies (Horsefeathers).

Calhoun drafted a dazzling lineup of guest stars, from the O's' John Pedigo on banjo to Brian Skates on accordion and mandolin. But Heavy Sugar, currently on iTunes with a physical release set for Tuesday, is the Fort Worth band's triumph through and through.

Having already had a few tracks placed on national TV shows and knowing the band's willingness to plug in and play for anyone who will hear them, it's merely a matter of time before Calhoun stops being one of the city's semi-hidden treasures and becomes a sensation beyond our borders.

Calhoun will celebrate the release of Heavy Sugar with an in-store performance at Dallas' Good Records on Tuesday, followed by a free show at Fort Worth's Central Market on May 19. - Fort Worth Star Telegram


Discography

2004 – The Year That Never Was LP
2006 – Calhoun LP
2008 – Falter • Waver • Cultivate LP songs such as Breathe and Apocalypse(A Love Story) still get airplay in D/FW on KXT and KDGE. The Earth Has Lost Its Hold was prominently featured in a season 3 episode of the NBC hit series "Chuck"
2011 Heavy Sugar LP
The songs "Horsefeathers" and "The Engineer" receive heavy rotation on 91.7 KXT in D/FW and "Knife Fight" is being played extensively on SpyFM in OKC and KSGR in Austin and was featured heavily in the season opening episode of the WBs One Tree Hill.

2013 — Paperweights EP

2017 — Football Night in America

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Bio

Formed in 2006 and having released 5 albums since with our 6th due in the first quarter of 2017 titled, Football Night in America. Are we looking to get sued or served a cease and desist? Kind of. Produced by Chris Bell(Polyphonic Spree, Erykah Badu) and Jordan Richardson(Ben Harper, White Denim) and ourselves. Singer-songwriter based songs constructed as a band. The new album skews half nervous electric rock half breezy, pensive and moderate.  Band and music-wise, North Texas Wilco.

Band Members