Bunch Of Fives: Callum Pitt | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s harmonious indie-folkster Callum Pitt follows up his singles Out of the Trees and Fault Lines with his third offering of 2020, Ghost (released via Humble Angel Records). As the title suggests, the song glides around the room, filling the air with an ethereal beauty and an intangible fragility that’ll give you goosebumps and is the perfect musical accompaniment to the darker, colder, autumnal nights that approach. 

Here, Callum tells us about the songs he has listened to hundreds of times in his bunch of fives…

1. DIIV – Healthy Moon
I first saw DIIV live on a whim, I’d never heard of them and my friend had a spare ticket; some of my favourite gigs have materialised in this way (particularly The Hold Steady, Idles and Drenge) and this gig followed the trend, they had this amazing intensity about them. I actually can’t explain what I find so beautiful about this song, there’s just this sort of melancholic sadness hanging over it and it’s just conveyed so effortlessly.

2. Big Thief – Mythological Beauty
Continuing the theme of effortless-sounding music, Adrianne Lenker is probably the best vocalist in the world in this regard for me at the moment and Big Thief the best band! This song for me achieves a grunge, folk, indie and alternative feel all at the same time which is really hard to achieve. I kind of imagine Big Thief to all live in a tiny shed that’s kitted out as a music studio in the middle of a remote redwood forest, living off the land and writing songs together every night. 

3. Julien Baker – Rejoice
I first started listening to Julien Baker at the start of lockdown and almost 6 months later her music has almost become a staple part of my daily routine; her album ‘Sprained Ankle’ complimented many a day of doing very little at all and I found this song the most beautiful in particular. It’s so raw and you can hear the hurt in her voice so clearly. I normally favour melancholic and effortless sounding vocals and strive to make mine sound this way sometimes, but she absolutely goes for it here and it’s absolutely wicked. 

4. Sufjan Stevens – Casimir Pulaski Day
This song probably has the best example of juxtaposition I have ever heard lyrically, it’s about a friend who has cancer and dies on Casimir Pulaski Day – a day of celebration in Illinois for a leading officer from the American Revolution. The chords and vocal line sound fairly happy and optimistic throughout while simultaneously documenting the time leading up to somebody dying seemingly quite young. Sufjan Stevens is probably the purest lyricist for me, his songs always have this air of innocence about them and he’s probably the closest we’ll ever get to having a songwriter as talented as Elliot Smith. 

5. Ludovico Einaudi – Divenire
Finally, I remember first properly hearing this song at the end of first year of university, I had gone back to friends’ halls after a night out before everyone moved out and went home for the summer and I think it was only a short while before the halls were due to be knocked down. We were sitting in the dark in the common room listening to music, and someone put this on; I remember it being this massively atmospheric moment for me for some reason, and I’ve listened to it hundreds of times since this.

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