You are hereAlbum Review: Calamateur - Each Dirty Letter (Autoclave)
Album Review: Calamateur - Each Dirty Letter (Autoclave)
Going under the name Calamateur (Cal from the Steinbeck book East of Eden and Amateur from the Hal Hartley film), Inverness-based singer-songwriter Andrew Howie has maintained a prolific output over the past ten years producing a handful of EPs and mini albums together with a couple of full length releases; all in all, a veritable stack of recorded work from a prolific self-styled songwriter. Following on from 2008's JESUS IS FOR LOSERS, EACH DIRTY LETTER could well be his best record to date, featuring some of his most personal songs so far.
With both Banoffee and Testimony battling it out for potential hit single status, the more confessional balladry of A Bad Friend leaves an indelible mark on this listener, prompting the rhetorical question 'have I been here as well?' Touch My Skin, which contains the reference to the album's title, sees Calamateur in soulful mode, with a beautiful performance, proving that he means business.
Closing with A Crumbling Empire, Calamateur delivers a memorable vocal performance, a sort of cross between Rufus Wainwright and Radiohead when all's said and done. With a fine supporting cast of musicians including Iain Hutchison on guitar and organ, Lewis Gordon on bass, Phil Moir on drums and Mark Hilditch on keyboards, and a fine duet with Jo Mango (Jo Mango, Vashti Bunyan) on Retreat, this thirteenth disc may be just the one that broadens Calamateur's deserved support.