An old song with new-found relevance.
With four intimate singles, favourable comparisons to the likes of Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson and Bon Iver, and ongoing placement in playlists with thousands of global followers, you know Sydney singer-songwriter Callan John is a force to be reckoned with.
Discovering the world of music by writing crappy break-up songs on his teenage bedroom floor, the promising and enigmatic artist has spent the last ten years carefully crafting his sound, well and truly stepping into the light with his latest – and fifth – release of 2020, ‘All OK’.
Released late last month, ‘All OK’ takes you on a warm, chilled-out sonic journey, championed by Callan’s honey-sweet vocals, catchy melodies, delicate harmonies, and adept songwriting, leaving you hanging on his every word throughout the track.
With nods to the likes of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz and James Taylor, the folk and rock influences surge and flourish throughout the cruisy, perfectly-time track. Born out of the passionate frustrations arising in a long-distance relationship many years ago, ‘All OK’ has perhaps never been more relevant than it is right now, as the chaos of 2020 continues to keep millions apart from those they love.
“‘All OK’ was written seven-ish years ago and inspired by a girl I’d fallen head over heels for,” Callan explains of the single.
“We met in Sydney while she was travelling around Australia and formed this incredible connection, but then she got on a plane and flew home to where she lived on the other side of the world. For years we kept trying to get together again, but we could never make ends meet. I often daydreamed about what our reunion would be like – warm, intimate, almost dream-like. ‘All OK’ is an attempt to sonically capture those daydreams.”
Neither overpowering nor complicated, ‘All OK’ is a slow, short and sweet song which showcases Callan’s ability to seamlessly combine his smooth voice with soft acoustic instrumentals. Co-produced with Tim Carr — the man behind Matt Corby’s immortal hit ‘Brother’, it’s the smooth, cohesive, feel-good atmosphere and whistling sprinkled throughout that makes you feel as if you’re simply gliding along with Callan’s melodic voice.
Alongside previous releases ‘Fate’, ‘Do You Want Me’, ‘Fallen’ and ‘A Home She Made’, ‘All OK’ is lifted from Callan’s nine-track mixtape ‘L89’ (Latey Nine), an eclectic body of work written between 2009 and 2019 to or about the same person. Rather than releasing all nine tracks at once like a conventional mixtape, Callan has instead opted to drip-feed his growing audience with one new song every month; each revealing another chapter in the arc of his page-turning (mostly) true tale of love and loss.
Amidst fraught with lockdowns, social distancing and loads of other seemingly draconian restrictions that have forced millions of us apart from those we love (or lust) — chapter five of Callan’s story, ‘All OK’, offers soothing solace; like a comforting hug or momentary make-believe escape we all need.
You can listen to the track below and you can find Callan on Instagram here.