During the last twelve months where we have all lived through uncertain times, we have listened to a lot of new music and been made aware of a lot of artists we may not be familiar with, yet Callista Clark and her debut EP “Real To Me” is definitely one that has really grabbed me straight away. You quickly see how she has amassed significant views on her videos through her social media platforms has led to Scott Borchetta and Big Machine Label Group being really excited about this young woman, then introducing her with this release last Friday. (Listen HERE)
The 17-year-old multi-instrumentalist originally from Zebulon, Georgia brings a blend of creativity that reflects her country roots and life as a teenager. Clark co-wrote all five songs on this debut which she collaborated with some of Nashville’s biggest names including Dan Isbell, Liz Rose, Chris DeStefano and Laura Veltz before Grammy Award winning producer Nathan Chapman pulled it all together. “Real To Me” is a very enticing first introduction to Clark that has a lot going on over just five tracks to whet your appetite. The EP delivers a lot of dynamic and exciting sounds melodically where one minute you hear elements of R&B blended with this confident pop-country sound in the opener “It’s Cause I Am” then a slightly heavier or rockier sound with “Heartbreak Song” which gives old school Aly & AJ type vibes.
There is a real sassy feel like in “Change My Mind” showing her assertion yet at the same time the project is not shying away from her vulnerability or teenage naivety. There is a good old power ballad with “Don’t Need It Anymore” and the EP rounds off with what really showcases the soul in her vocal with the honest and bluesy title track.
When you consider the soulfulness of her voice, the creativity combined with the dynamic of combining influence traditionally from other genres and the raw openness, honesty and relatability in the stories it will bring up similarities or comparisons to Maren Morris. I think this is a fair viewpoint, a good indicator of the type of sound she brings and as a statement is definitively not in any way overinflated because you definitely hear this vocally and sonically which is only enhanced seeing Laura Veltz being a co-writer on two of the five tracks.
The most striking thing about listening to this is how mature this EP sounds coming from a teenager whilst still embraces the challenges of growing up and finding yourself and because of the creativity and progressive nature of the delivery it really allows it to be so transferable and relatable across the globe yet still retaining her Georgia roots. It is clear that Callista Clark has a lot to say and we are very excited to hear more of it. Real To Me Track List
“It’s Cause I Am” | Callista Clark, Cameron Jaymes, Laura Veltz