Having already tasted success in the US, Lincolnshire-born songstress Callaghan brings her country-flavoured adult pop back home to the UK
egular Songwriting readers may remember that Callaghan featured in our Introducing… slot back in February. We told you then that, having notched up five-figure sales for her debut album Stateside, her sophomore offering would be coming out in the UK, too. And now here it is.
“Adult pop with country leanings,” is how we described Callaghan’s sound back then, and on hearing this second long-player there’s no reason we can see to edit, amend or qualify that description any further. At its best, A History Of Now nods to Fleetwood Mac, Carole King and The Carpenters, with a glance also in the direction of contemporary indie-folk and the likes of R.E.M, and just a hint of Sandé-esque soul sheen. There are other moments where it’s all a bit ‘Taylor Swift for grown-ups’, but if Callaghan can achieve one-tenth of Swift’s success we shouldn’t imagine she’ll be complaining too much about that description.
Lyrically it’s well crafted, if fairly standard fare subject-wise. Tales of love, loss and hope are the general order of the day, with sunny gems like Crazy Beautiful Life and Best Year addressing the latter topic but with the album’s finest hour being the epic, sweeping Lost, which deals with the first two. Lost’s position almost exactly midway through the album is a smart piece of programming, too.
Whether Callaghan can replicate her US success on home soil remains to be seen. But with support from Bob Harris on Radio 2 already, and with songs as good as this, it’d be a great shame if she didn’t.
Verdict: Polished adult country-pop