A Calmer Collision is the artist moniker of US Gold Record-winning producer/engineer, Ryan McCambridge (Metric, Birds of Tokyo, IAMX), in collaboration with three-time Grammy-winning producer, David Bottrill (Muse, Peter Gabriel, Tool). A labour of love, the project grew from their professional work together with iconic artists like Rush and Mastodon, developing during moments of silence in their Toronto-based recording studios.
With the critical pulse of electronic drums interwoven with analog synths, A Calmer Collision’s self-titled, debut EP shows its lineage to the darker side of 80s new wave, when bands like The Cure, Depeche Mode and Tears For Fears flooded alternative radio. But this only lays the foundation for A Calmer Collision’s sonic colourations, which also lean alt-rock and makes the music “equal parts classic and modern, though never pastiche,” according to Canadian Musician magazine.
“A Calmer Collision’s debut showcases deft songwriting and sonic flourishes that span decades. At a time when so much indie music has forgotten the value of a good chorus, A Calmer Collision has them in spades on songs like ‘Lost Bloodlines’ and ‘Higher Laws’” — Canadian Musician Magazine
The first single, “Higher Laws” shimmers with delay and pulsing synths which explode into anthemic choruses that powerfully declare that “higher laws will heal us from ourselves.” It’s clearly a commentary on our times, as the song’s video makes clear. A collage of visual media symbolism contrasts words that bleed subtext. It is a social statement that feels uncomfortably current. This is music with a message, telling us that amidst a world that may seem to be coming unwoven, “this life is ours, in hope, in faith, in truth”.
The magnetism of the music also attracted contributions from the music community. Erik Alcock, whose voice and writing can be found on songs by Kanye West, Nas and Eminem, lends additional, haunting vocals to “Higher Laws” , while Jeff Schroeder of The Smashing Pumpkins elevates “Willing To Burn” with evocative guitar mastery that punctuates the epic finale of the album.
There is a thread of familiarity that runs through A Calmer Collision’s music. It balances the popular with the introspective, where memorable melodies define lyrics with a clear emotional struggle, leaving us to believe that the world can be both uplifting and forlorn in the same breath. In these times of uncertainty and fluctuation, it’s difficult to ignore that universality.