By Dylan Benedict, Contributor
When the struggles of life get to be too much and it seems as if no one else in the world could possibly understand what I’m going through, I know there’s always a group I can turn to – Calpurnia. Nobody is able to take the pain and angst I feel as a college student and transform it into a lyrical masterpiece like this group of 15-year-old musicians. Having had plenty of years to train their musical abilities, this ragtag group of teens have really mastered what it sounds like to be an everyday, below-average, local garage band. If you want to truly understand Calpurnia’s sound and popularity, imagine going to a house show, hearing a band and thinking “These guys are OK I guess” and then seeing that same band play at music festivals across the country.
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Although a majority of the songs they perform are crude covers of popular tunes, you won’t be completely disappointed. The guitar is always great; it’s just when the rest of the band gets involved that things kind of fall apart. At that point, you just have to wait for the next song to come on or hope a guitar solo is coming up soon. However, the few original songs Calpurnia does have are something to be admired. Listening to their music, you can tell that these 15-year olds really understand the intricacies of creating music and have it all figured out. For example, their song “City Boy” shows their understanding of complex lyrics and deep allegorical meaning with the chorus verse “I am a city boy, you are a city girl, you date the city tool, I am a city fool.” Lyrical poetic beauty at its finest.
If their eloquently crafted music isn’t enough to convince you of their knowledge beyond their years, then their stage presence will surely do the trick. Coming out on stage dressed up like any other hip indie rock band, Calpurnia immediately grabs the audience’s attention. With Finn Wolfhard, the band’s lead singer, casually dropping an F-bomb here and there, it makes you wonder “Is he old enough to say that?” “Where is this kid’s mother to wash out his mouth with soap and discipline him for using such vulgar language at 15?” Either way, his nonchalant use of the word “fuck” in the band’s set reminds you how cool they are.
The band’s almost instant rise to popularity is yet another indication of the band’s talent. Calpurnia officially formed in 2017 and they’ve already played large-scale music events like Osheaga and Riot Fest. Of course, Finn’s hit TV show Stranger Things might have helped a little in the rise of the band’s fame, but I’m sure it was the band’s musical abilities that really got them to the place they are today. It’s not like every article about the band starts off with the headline “Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard’s band Calpurnia;” in fact, only about 90 percent of them do. Will we ever be able to know if it was Finn’s previous fame that launched the band straight into stardom? Although you might be tempted to say “Yes, obviously it did,” at first, take a listen to the band’s “incredible” music and then decide for yourself.