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The Debut Album of The Calalmatix

todayJune 26, 2024 5

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The Calamatix: Debut Album Release Brings a Fusion of Punk and Reggae

By Ace Hartmann | Racketeer Broadcast Association  | 

California quartet The Calamatix is set to make waves this fall with the release of their self-titled debut album, The Calamatix, on September 20 via Hellcat Records. Blending the upbeat rhythms of Jamaican rocksteady and old-school ska with the raw energy of punk, The Calamatix is a band driven by the life experiences and songwriting prowess of their lead singer, Raylin Joy.

Raylin Joy, was born in Ventura, California, but spent much of her childhood in Scotland before returning to the US at age 23. Her unique life journey and the personal struggles she faced during some of her darkest times have deeply influenced her music. “When this record first came into existence years ago, I was going through one of the hardest periods of my life,” Joy recalls. “I was really struggling with depression and I didn’t have a lot to live for, honestly, at the time. I was really, really struggling. Then I would go in the studio and we’d write a song and I’d just be on the biggest high. So, for a long time, this record was one of the main things keeping me going.”

To bring these deeply personal songs to life, Joy collaborated with guitarist Tim Armstrong, known for his work with Operation Ivy and Rancid. Armstrong’s influence, combined with Joy’s storytelling, laid the foundation for the album. “When Ray and I started writing together we weren’t sure what it would be for,” Armstrong says. “I quickly recognized how easy it was for us to construct songs together so it was a super fun process. She’s an incredibly talented storyteller and the way she connects and communicates is amazing.”

The album was recorded in a whirlwind of two to three days, capturing the raw and organic chemistry of the band. Drummer Clarence “Pocket” Kidd III remembers the sessions fondly: “It didn’t take long at all. It was just an organic feeling and just natural. It was a good vibe. It was actually fun, being in the session actually having fun.” Along with guitarist Adam Porris and bassist William “Matty” Taylor, the band created a sound that is both fiery and fun, effortlessly blending genres.

The debut single, “Love, Lies & Alibis,” exemplifies this fusion. The track combines the brashness of punk with the slinky, up-tempo rhythms of Jamaican ska. Joy explains, “Basically, the song is about the good, the bad, the ugly, and sad. Working through relationships and friendships even when you’re going through it. We all just have to keep going through the love, lies, and alibis of life.”

Other tracks on the album, such as “Rootstyle” and “Boom Bap,” showcase the band’s mastery of various styles, from bittersweet rocksteady to groovy, understated jams. The instrumental track “The Phantom Lover of New Rochelle” channels the spirit of Dick Dale and Link Wray, adding another layer to the band’s diverse sound.

The album was produced by Albert Hype, known for his work with artists like Bad Bunny and Kali Uchis, and features songwriting contributions from Lil Aaron (Machine Gun Kelly, Demi Lovato, Lizzo). Together, they have created an album that is rich and tastefully arranged, maintaining the heart and soul of Joy’s lyrics.

Raylin Joy sums up the album and its creation poignantly: “At the end of the day, some of the best things are born out of terrible situations. We had all of this adversity and we turned it into something really beautiful.”

With their debut album, The Calamatix has crafted a powerful and uplifting collection of songs that promise to resonate with listeners. As they prepare for the album’s release and the journey ahead, The Calamatix stands as a testament to the transformative power of music, turning personal struggles into anthems of love and life.

Written by: Ace Hartmann

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