Gig review: Her Name is Calla at Wharf Chambers, Leeds

Her Name is Calla. Picture: Gary Brightbart
Her Name is Calla. Picture: Gary Brightbart
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“Nothing sounding more peaceful than the white noise of salt water,” sings Tom Morris as drums emulate the sound of waves.

The image in ‘Navigator’ is the perfect synopsis of Her Name Is Calla, whose emotionally heavy music shifts like the tide from quiet reflection to dark, intense crescendos.

In creating these powerfully intuitive moods the quintet are closely aligned with the post-rock scene that was spearheaded by Mogwai and Godspeed! You Black Emperor. Their twin violins inevitably invite comparisons with the latter but, while their influence on the sprawling ‘Wren’ is undeniable, in essence these tracks are far more traditional in structure.

Opening track ‘Meridian Arc’, for instance, could almost be played solo on acoustic guitar. Hinting at mid-period Radiohead, it slowly builds in intensity and volume as the core song is spun out and distorted with moments of calm that crash into sections of rage.

It demonstrates a breadth of styles that suggests it’s not too much of a stretch when Morris jokes, “We didn’t know whether to play metal hits, acoustic b******s or acapella,” when faced with the quandary over what to perform.

They certainly have a hard act to follow on a bill that includes the ethereal Tomorrow We Sail and the Cowboy Junkies-esque Evi Vine.

They nonetheless resolve the problem by playing an informal greatest hits set that picks five tracks from their decade long career, giving nothing away about the album they tease they’re currently working on for release next year.