Calamateur is the name under which singer-songwriter Andrew Howie records and performs. Based near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, Andrew has been recording and releasing his own music since 2000.
Influenced by the likes of Sparklehorse, American Music Club, Elliott Smith, Moby, Iain Archer, Aereogramme & The Blue Nile, his music has been played by John Peel, Radio 3’s Late Junction, the Scottish Evening Session on Radio 1, and local radio the length and breadth of the country.
“The world needs mavericks like Calamateur. Holed up somewhere outside Inverness, Andrew Howie has been making a find blend of folk, rock and electronica for almost a decade.” - The List
'Each Dirty Letter' is the best Calamateur album to date. It's just that good. With all the usual Calamateur sonic palette present (electronica, mellow acoustic guitar, aggressive electric guitar, drum loops, etc.) 'Each Dirty Letter' sees these aural ingredients used far less as pure texture than on previous releases and far more in service to the songs. And such songs!
Undoubtedly the most personal songs he's released, 'Each Dirty Letter' is an ideal place to start if you haven't tried Calamateur before, and a Must Have item for confirmed fans.
Although 'Each Dirty Letter' is the fourth album length release in the increasingly huge Calamateur discography (including 2003's double length 'Son of Everyone EP') and the third official album (after 2004's 'The Old Fox of '45'), and last year's 'Jesus is for Losers', it's the first to have been conceived and recorded as a cohesive whole. From the slyly mellow, acutely disturbing songs like opener "Change This World", and "A Bad Friend" through to the gorgeous, delicate duet with Jo Mango on "Retreat", and rock numbers like "Testimony" and "Honesty", there are musical and lyrical themes that recur and tie the whole thing together, making it hard to skip around the record, or pick favourite tracks, since it demands to be listened to as a whole.
“…nothing short of brilliantly absorbing…” - Is This Music?
“…stunning… a work of beauty…what took Snow Patrol’s 3 albums and 4 people to accomplish, Calamateur’s Andrew Howie manages straight off with songs of desolate beauty underpinned with a savage hope…” - John Earls, Planet Sound
“…the aim is true and the heart is strong in this beautiful little record. 4/5.” - The List
“…trembling as if touched by something altogether magical….” - Losing Today
Paradoxically by being more lyrically specific and personal on this album, the songs actually become more generally applicable, carry more moral weight and (significantly) pack a heftier emotional punch. Let's just say that as detailed as some of the lines in "A Bad Friend" are, the song is sure to remind you of some of your less admirable moments.