by Evan James Ceretti
Charlottetown’s newest band has listeners up in arms, and that’s without having played their first show. Calm Baretta is Josh Carter (guitar, lead vocals), Laura Oakie (keys, vocals), Nigel Haan (bass, vocals), and Jordan Oakie (drums). Carter, Haan and Laura make up the band’s writing team.
You could say Calm Baretta was a long time in the making. Carter and Laura lived together seven years ago and that’s when the music started. “We hit it off musically,” said Carter. But it wasn’t until earlier this year, after Carter moved in with Haan, that Calm Baretta was formed.
“[Haan and I] started jamming a bit, and then it was just one of those, ‘all the pieces fit together, why shouldn’t we try to take some of these songs we’ve been working on and arrange them in a full band setting?’” With everyone involved, Carter and Laura’s songs would soon break out of their folk-pop skeletons into some much bigger, much more electric sounding.
Carter is the brainchild behind the band’s name. “In this digital age, I wanted it to be something unique and easy to find.” As an afterthought, the name is quite fitting of the band’s sound, he said. “Calm kind of means a collected feeling, and then beretta is a pistol. So, how a song can be both sweet and powerful: Calm Baretta.” Notice the tweak in spelling to dissociate with the weapon.
Carter describes the band’s sound as delicate, sweet, and subdued, but also having large musical moments that are upbeat and full of energy. “It’s definitely like 80’s pop but with a more modern approach in terms of the vocals. It’s poppy, it’s fun, easy to listen to, it’s summery, dreamy.”
The band hit the studio in June and recorded their debut single ”Chilly Bones” with John Mullane in Halifax, and released the single on July 11. There’s a good chance they’ll release another single in the fall, followed by dropping an EP come winter.
The pressure of making good music in today’s society often makes musicians lose touch of the music itself, said Carter, and that’s something the band wants to avoid entirely. “At this point it’s a super passion project: it’s writing to write; it’s writing for fun.”
If music is your medicine, you might want to prescribe yourself the sounds of Calm Baretta. Don’t miss their debut show at the Sportsman’s Club on September 9.
Visit soundcloud.com/calmbaretta to hear “Chilly Bones.”
—The Buzz welcomes Evan Ceretti as our latest writer for the Talking Bands column.