Calum Busby and the Sonic Onion of Social Issues
Updated: Oct 28, 2022
Know what’s hard? Having opinions on current events. People get real nervous when they hear what sound like opinions. Could be good or bad, they might even agree. Doesn’t matter. The overwhelming question to ask is, “is this going to make me less popular?” It’s the not knowing that creates doubt.
So people don’t like opinions. They don’t like hearing what other people think, because that way lies the lonely outer darkness. Or the risk of outer darkness, which is frightening enough.
We all know that look. That look of, “I’m not really listening to you. I’m just waiting until you stop talking, so I can go google what you’re saying to see if it’s safe to agree with you.” And if you have never seen that look before, well, maybe that’s because it’s on your face.
That’s why so many conversations feel fraught. That’s my theory, anyway.
His Songs are Layered
Calum Busby is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He grew up in Scotland and earned a degree in politics and international relations. He’s interested in the grand reasoning behind things. After university, he asked himself whether he wanted to go into that as a career, or if he didn’t. He decided he didn’t.
In a kind of self-inflicted emotional shock therapy, Calum leapt out of Scotland and into life somewhere entirely other. He ended up in Barcelona because he liked the sun, the surf, the mountains, the food, the people, and because of the active music scene.
He’s always been musical. He’s been writing music since he was fourteen. Which, judging from his facial hair, means it’s been at least two years since he started. I don’t know. I’m bad with ages. Point is, he’s always liked writing songs and performing songs. As he grew up—or grew more angry, maybe—he also grew in the kinds of subjects he took on with his songs. Many young people begin their writing careers writing whimsical ballads about that summer with Justine. It takes a lot of mornings full of burnt toast to really figure out what you want to gripe about.
Now, Calum writes cool, catchy, pop-rock anthems that get your fists pumping and make you get up and cheer, because those get under your skin and they’re fun to listen to. For his subject matter, he chooses to talk about easily accessible subjects like social media and self-care. Which is all his songs are about, if you have no sense of irony. At all. Because you don’t need much of a sense of irony to catch onto the layers not very deeply concealed under the skin of cheeriness.
It's quite punk-rock, actually. Write a song that makes you bop your head, then squirm under your skin with some thought-provoking lyrics. Quite beautiful, really.
If you ask him, he might tell you what ideas he’s taking on this week. Going to war with songwriting is a time-honored tradition, and Calum’s a strong warrior.
If you look up Calum Busby’s songs (and I recommend you do) you will find a bunch of singles. That you see with a lot of musicians. You won’t see an album from him too soon, though, because that’s not what he’s up to right now. He isn’t a putting a broad and sweeping amount of effort into an album and treating that like a unit of work right now. Instead, he’s made a realistic assessment. He’s looked at the realities of the music world and decided on a different approach. Instead of a long headache smeared across a bunch of weeks only to risk being a first time music publisher one time full of spectacular mistakes, he’s taking a different tack. He’s putting more focused energy into a long series of singles, each of them providing an opportunity to learn new things and build new things. The eventual goals is an album full, but in the meantime watch for the singles. His next couple are coming out in the next few weeks. Watch for his upcoming releases, “To Take Back Control” and “Strawman,” dropping soon on Spotify and wherever singles are sold near you.
Saturday, 10th of December 2022 is our final event of the year : Doors open at 19.30. Music starts at 8 pm. 3 Concerts in 1 Night. 1 Ticket. €15 with a welcome drink (3 options). Ticket Sales go to Artists.