Only once with every blue moon comes an artist that seems so familiar yet out of space as Calvin Love. On Super Future, his first album for Arts & Crafts, the young charmer from Edmonton, Alberta, steeps songs of psychedelic wisdom in celestial sensuality. Calvin Love arrives an enigma, a strutting, crooning contradiction: as menacing as he is magnetic, like sex and mystery wrapped together in a trench coat. With coolness that defies contrivance, Love links sounds and images of science-fiction vintage with an auspicious version of the future. "Automaton" plays late summer knight-rider funk like a factory machine, while soul-drenched bass and electric guitars chase each other in flirtatious dialogue. Calvin Love's reedy tenor phases in the same atmospheric register as age-old synthesizers, singing: "Now off in the distance, her machine calls out 'I wish you were my robot' so I wouldn't feel left out'. The music drips with crystal aura, blending obsession with the beauty of artifice and the inner systems of real and natural things. It's this infallible match of the authentic to the inventive that make Calvin Love's Super Future so strange and inviting.
Calvin does it all with convincing ease, a crooked handsomeness belying his wide-eyed honesty and the curios experimentation of these tunes. First single "Daydream" makes landfall with near-tropical humidity: cavernous, scuttling drum lines echo Calvin's lilting vocals and stalactite guitar phrasing, exposing how nimbly he moves from sunny to gritty climes. The urgent "Creepin" races at a siren's pace, with bursts of fractured guitar framing its more primal, animistic, punk rock personality. The music is at all times seductive: disordered but intuitive, faulted if not feeling for just the right fractions of distortion and balladry. Performed and recorded entirely by Calvin Love at his Cool Creep Studios in Edmonton, Super Future distinguishes him from the lineage of hometown cronies like Mac Demarco, TOPS, Alex Calder, and Sean Nicholas Savage. Suave and demented, nostalgic and otherworldly, with Super Future Calvin Love casts a black light shadow on the white of sun-soaked skies.