The very last thing Faded Morgana did as a team before the world radically changed and went on lockdown in March was throw an EP release party for our friends and hometown heroes, Calmgrove. The energy in the room that night was palpable, and for good reason: Calmgrove has had an incredible year. After hitting the ground running with their first single “Lifelong” the band has only progressed and defined their sound since early 2019, most recently putting out an incredible new EP, “Light On Your End” that eloquently blends the early glory days of emo/alternative music with the newer generation of pop-punk, sprouted from the seeds once planted by bands like The Story So Far and Neck Deep around the start of the decade. With a huge new EP, a new label, and a show at the world famous Troubadour under their belt, March seemed to be setting up the groundwork for what was going to be the summer that the Calmgrove train really started moving...
and then the pandemic happened.
Once the protests started in June, very little seemed to matter in comparison to the detrimental state the world was in. We at Faded Morgana have called everything off for the most part that we had planned specifically to try and give some air time to things that feel a little bit more important right now (like human rights and preventing the death of thousands of people by wearing a mask), and we weren’t alone. Tons of productions and events have been postponed or even called off, record releases have been pushed back, and the world is still trying to figure out its game plan 6 months into this madness. But that’s not enough to stop Calmgrove. During these trying times, our mental health and capacity to create and indulge in art have been threatened in new ways we’ve never experienced. In losing the ability to perform on stage, practice as often as they’d have liked, record new full-band singles, and no longer having the option to tour and meet hundreds of new fans and build their empire, Calmgrove needed a new plan for their summer. In turn, we have gained a beautiful new acoustic single, “Eye to Eye” from the SoCal quintet that finds itself placed on a handsomely reissued edition of LOYE. Recorded and produced completely by guitarist Tommy Maung, “Eye to Eye” feels like a familiar yet painful jab at your heart strings, and we’re all about it. The song's somber tone is remnant of the world right now, yet calls back to 2007 where I spent a lot of time listening to emo music in my bed, crying. The lyrics are also hugely relatable as singer Eric Guzman humbly reflects and analyzes his fears and vulnerabilities—thoughts that probably strike a chord in all of us as we’ve all been getting trapped behind our own thoughts in recent months.
The chorus speaks this self-reflection into existence, but remains actively true to itself and positive about the future: I know I may seem vulnerable but I’m not and I’ve gained from what was lost. The same can be said about the band itself, who didn’t accept defeat from this new way of life and instead focused their energies into creating something new and emotional. As an added bonus, the new single comes coupled with a beautiful new music video directed by C3 Productions! It’s a great time to be a Calmgrove fan, even if the world is a bit wacky at the moment. Check out the video for “Eye to Eye” below, and hear the new single on Spotify today!