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General Ed takes us to the beach with their song, "Calypso"

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

Genre: Surf Rock, Indie Rock

“I found a lover and lost myself. Now she’s found someone else.”

This surf rock song by Riverside rockers General Ed. makes a grand entrance with loud and twangy guitar strums that gear the listener up for an experience that’ll leave you wanting to get up and bust out a couple stankylegs. It’s on the verge of being a bit too forward with how oversaturated it is with effects, but nonetheless it’s a nice funky beat that had me intrigued about the rest of the song. I can hear some influence from the Beach Boys in the guitar and the background vocals which adds a charm to this song that makes it perfect for those warm, beach days with friends.

While the vibe is there, I’d like to comment on the structure of the song as well. I like how distinguished the verses are from the chorus and the main melody of the song is really catchy. There are also areas towards the end that offer a change of pace like when all of the instruments cut out and you’re just left hearing the low acoustic guitar and some audio of people chilling at the beach amongst the birds and crashing waves. This instrumental break gives us time to get ready for the face-melting guitar solo that carries the song to its end. It's complex and a lot of fun to listen to However, I do feel like the abrupt drop in energy before it is a bit jarring. I wish there could have been a smoother transition into the acoustic guitar that didn’t cut-off the intensity of the song right away. Maybe the chord could have rang out for longer and the kick drum could have been kept lightly thumping in the background. I like the attempt at changing the tempo in between the song to give the ending an extra punch in energy, I just think it could have been executed a bit differently.

In terms of the vocals, I think that they’re good and the singer has a nice lower register. There are a few noticeable pitch issues in the chorus and some lines are drawn out for a bit too long, but the passion is there and I enjoyed it when they dipped to the lower notes. I think that’s where they’re strongest for sure. The delivery is smooth and the tone sounds fuller. Main vocals aside, I also think the backing vocals during the chorus are nice and offer another element to listen to that adds to the musical theme.

To touch on the lyrics, there are nice descriptors about this place where the protagonist is "stuck in limbo". You know how isolated they're feeling from their lover while in a place that's devoid of promise: "So far from friendly conversation. So far away from any aspiration." They're stuck thinking about a lover who resembles Calypso, the goddess of the sea in Greek Mythology. The protagonist feels captured by their love interest, much like how Odysseus felt while under Calypso's watchful eye for several years according to the fantastical tale. I think the reference was implemented well within the lyrics.

Overall, "Calypso" by General Ed. is a fun, enthusiastic song that gets me excited for the summertime. There are some elements that don't make it as easy of a listen as I would've hoped from the guitar being a bit too oversaturated in the beginning to the inconsistency in the vocals, but it has some nice qualities with the storytelling in the lyrics and complex rhythm that carries the energy forward. I'm looking forward to seeing how this band progresses as time goes on!

Be sure to check out General Ed. and stream their song, "Calypso" everywhere you listen to music!

For fans of:

The Beach Boys

Van Halen

The Zombies

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