Five Favourites: Calva Louise

Having been a big fan of international band Calva Louise’s fierce, sparkling energy for some time now (and even witnessing their luminous charm live across the pond in New York last year), I was excited to hear that they’ll be releasing a new EP later this year. Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and John Kennedy at Radio X, new release Over The Threshold will not only offer an insight into how the band’s distinctive sound has developed with a heavier, cathartic metal-infused rage, but will also be accompanied by the release of a third person video game produced by Stratera Games. An innovative move from Jess Allanic and co, inspired by her own love of Sci Fi and fantasy, which is also evident in the accompanying graphic novel the band created alongside their 2019 album Rhinoceros.

In fact, the whole upcoming EP is inspired by Allanic’s passion for story-telling and illustration – aiming to create a complete immersive universe through their sounds, as well as visually portraying the captivating world behind the tracks in the video game. And now, ahead of the EP’s release, the band have shared a fiercely riotous new single, ‘Feast Is Over’ – of the track, Allanic explains:

“When circumstances push us back to square one, we often think that the best thing to do is to start over. But when we choose to go forward, fighting and assuming the consequences of our own decisions, it feels like accepting a new challenge to get out of a loop once and for all.”

In a Five Favourites first, we’ve spoken to Jess Allanic about her passion for Sci Fi and how this has inspired not only the band’s new releases, but her work and love of storytelling as a whole. Read about her favourite graphic novels below, and make sure you watch the brand new video for ‘Feast Is Over‘ at the end of this feature.

James O’Barr – The Crow 
The Crow is to me one of the greatest graphic novels of all times. The anger and the injustice that you feel through the characters eyes made me try to have a deeper understanding of what the writer was trying to convey. The essence of the story is mainly autobiographical as James O’Barr put his emotions into paper with his drawings, and that catharsis encouraged me to try and do the same. Instead of imploding with my own thoughts, I wanted to put my beliefs into a graphic novel.

Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez – Locke And Key
This is my favourite graphic novel. I remember the comic shop owner kindly let me read all the issues in the store before I actually bought them! Joe Hill’s story is awesome – it sucked me into this Lovecraftian universe, full of fantasy and horror, also reminiscent of Stephen King. Gabriel Rodriguez’s use of architecture in his illustrations inspired me to draw the buildings of Rouen in Rhinoceros (Calva Louise’s own graphic novel). If you love the comic, I highly recommend the audiobook, which I listened to while I was in the midst of drawing my own illustrations. I also love the fact that at one point in the story, the characters goes to see a Muse show and that one of the main characters looks exactly like Josh Homme!

Sean Murphy – Punk Rock Jesus
Just like James O’Barr, Sean Murphy wrote and illustrated this graphic novel himself. And again, what a story: Jesus is cloned for a reality show and is reborn as a punk rocker, refusing to be used as a weapon of control, so he starts his own punk rock band. I love Sean Murphy’s style and humour – he also uses a lot of his personal experiences and each chapter is inspired by a song, so thanks to his graphic novel I discovered so many amazing bands!

Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque – American Vampire
This comic was recommended to me by a comic store owner and I immediately felt a rush of inspiration through Rafael Albuquerque’s illustrations – they complement Scott Snyder’s story perfectly. And I loved reading about vampires in the Wild West.

Jason Aaron & R.M Guera – Scalped
Scalped was also an inspiration for me, not only for its illustrations but also because of the depth of the story. It tackles interesting topics such as cultural identity and organised crime in a fictional Indian reservation.The graphic style is incredible, blending watercolours and high contrasts.

Massive thanks to Jess for sharing her five favourites with us!

Over The Threshold, the upcoming EP from Calva Louise, is set for release later this year. In the meantime, watch the brand new video for single ‘Feast Is Over’ here!

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