Updated: May 13
When we last met up with Eric Guzman, lead singer of Calmgrove, our favorite quickly-rising Southern California rock outfit, things seemed kind of tough. The pandemic was just starting to really sink in over the summer, and many musicians and artists of all kinds were losing touch with their creativity and accepting the fact that the way of life they'd come to know and love would be gone for a little while longer. Like so many others at the time, Guzman had admittedly hit a wall when it came to writing, and was lacking the motivation he had usually sported on his sleeve for all to see. The lack of live music, performing for fans, and getting together in a small room to write music was starting to hit. Luckily for us, that didn't last long.
Last year, Calmgrove released their debut EP called, "Light On Your End" which met a lot of high praise from critics and even garnered the attention of AP Magazine, who called them "your new favorite band". After returning to the studio in the Fall, Calmgrove has finally released their new single, "Fixate" and it holds up to that moody alternative sound that the band has made their own. The song features blisteringly relatable lyrics of the past, a massive, catchy hook and an instrumental that keeps the emotion and the energy pumping through the entire 3 minute and 25 second track. Vocals provided by Guzman and Guitarist Tommy Maung drive home emotional themes and motifs into every single lyric, and it all comes crashing down into a melancholy outro that could end up leaving the listener fixated on their own experiences.
After such a tough year, it's hard to tell what the future holds for musicians and live music, but hitting the ground running is Calmgrove's style, (as they've proven multiple times in the short time since the bands incarnation) so it's exciting to see them gearing up for the future and releasing new music as the world slowly but surely bounces back. "Fixate" showcases the attributes and emotional, distorted style that Calmgrove fans love, while also showing off their progress and maturity already at still such a young age in their career. At times, the song feels youthful, it feels fun and exciting, and at other times it feels more reflective and somber. Fixate manages to quench our thirst for both sides of the genre, but it never stumbles on itself or feels cluttered. Instead, it all flows together into a perfect package. The band successfully sweeps us into this flurry of emotions before setting us back down in the present day.
"Fixate" also marks the bands first release with their new drummer, Bryce Evenson (Commonwealth, Souls), who joined the band last summer. When we'll be able to catch Evensen and the boys performing live is still up in the air, but "more new music is coming" says Lead-Guitarist Daniel Alvarado. But in the meantime, Fixate is now available to Purchase and Stream on all major streaming platforms. Check out the music video below!