Cal Veatch - Bad Guy

It’s that time of year when it starts getting warmer and, guys, we have some springtime ear candy for you! Virginia musician Cal Veatch is dropping the first single titled “Bad Guy” off his upcoming EP, “Love Me Like I’m Dying” on April 16, and it is just the whimsicality that 2021 ordered. 

The track begins very simply with some plucked strings playing in a steady but contagiously melodic rhythm before introducing the vocals. The lyrics contradict the innocence of the music ten seconds in with the opening line, “I’d like to feel like I can wash all of my pain away, through my veins, not my skin, down the drain.” Gang chants saying “hey!” come repeatedly after the first line, adding something new and interesting and keeping listeners’ attention. 

Adding to the theme of the song, Cal sings lyrics that further the notion of not being able to find a place to belong using vivid imagery. “My head’s a thunderstorm, got ice inside my core, a killer scared of shooting guns/and everything I touch, can’t help but mess it up, nothing will ever be enough.” 

Cal continues adding little nuances, building momentum into the chorus. The first chorus is a little bare to highlight Veatch’s vocals with some reverb to add depth. Then when the second verse comes in, the vocal is doubled unlike before, emphasizing the point that he seems to stumble upon the same path in relationships. “The love, they take it and they leave, I never get it right/say goodbye, not enough, never right.” 

He follows that rather heavy line with fragility in the pre-chorus. “A castle made of sand, broken crown in my hands, oh what a vision of a king/so look me in the eyes, I’m done with all the lies, well could you love me for me, oh could you love me baby?” Cal’s desperation for acceptance seems to crescendo with the music, making each next part a little more intense.     

By the second chorus we have rhythmic claps added to the mix, continuing to crescendo the intensity of the song. Added lyrics like, “I’m a mess, I’m a wreck, I’m the worst you’ve ever met,” add a charmingly self-depreciating quality to the song that is honest and relatable. At this point, Cal has put on all the works and keeps going right into the bridge. 

Added over the strings in the bridge is an electronic melody that lasts about 20 seconds before stripping it back down to just the staccato strings and the opening lyric, “I’d like to feel like I can wash all of my pain away,” then it’s back full force into the last chorus. 

When the chorus comes back in, it contains everything that was slowly added throughout the song before for reaching an epic finish. The electronic melody returns at the end of the chorus leading into one last filtered vocal run, which adds yet another new sound, even in the final remaining moments of the song. Cal ends the track with a bang, like a Fourth of July fireworks finale.    

There is a lot to take notice of in this track, sparing not one second without a new attention grabber. The song builds and builds for almost four minutes until it’s filled to the brim with unique and modern virtues. Cal Veatch takes a mild tempo song and brings the energy forward, giving the song a big finish. If this track isn’t stuck in your head after the first chorus, you weren’t really listening.  Look for Cal’s upcoming EP, “Love Me Like I’m Dying” on streaming platforms on April 30! 

Hear “Bad Guy” and more:

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-Casey Wolfe
Oregano Entertainment Network

-Mike Oregano 🌿 
Oregano Entertainment Network, Oregano Records


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