You could call Lincoln singer-songwriter Caleb Bailey’s Expedition “chamber pop” if it didn’t feel like the chamber had no walls.
Rather, Bailey’s EP — produced by the experimental pop mind of Philip Zach (more on him and his Grid studio here) — feels constantly propelled by instrumental busyness. It’s a heterogeneous hive of flute, moving bass, trombone, winding guitar riffs, tight snare and Bailey’s own reedy voice. Amid the instruments, Expedition comes off as expertly arranged by careful observers of both warm-blooded singer-songwriters and grander sophisti-pop compositions.
Lyrically, Bailey’s EP purports to be a sampling of third-person storytelling, pulling across the experiences of “wayward astronaut, a would-be Hollywood star and a meteor cult” and more. Music and words together, the strongest point of Bailey’s writing is this overt inventiveness, the depth of vision that somehow means a Spanish guitar flourish is the best way to preview a song about people who live on a meteor. Because by this point, the third song, Bailey and Zach’s small world makes the showmanship feel like face value.
RSVP to Bailey’s Saturday release show at Porridge Papers here.
Now, here’s the premiere of Expedition: