LGBTQ+ icon and singer-songwriter Callum Crighton delivers debut EP, Lazer Police: The Musical, bringing together youthful vibrance with world-wise nostalgia within a soundscape the oscillates between synthwave and synth-pop. The four-track production showcases Crighton’s signature DIY ethos with its laid-back but empowering electro-pop cuts thrums with individuality and creativity, reflecting the rising star’s personality.
Opening with the title track, the EP launches into jangly, groovy synths accentuated by Crighton’s rumbling vocals, delivered in a hazy, easy-going style which extends throughout the track list. Where “The Lazer Police” is hypnotic and soothing, following track “Artificial Life” boasts a foreboding, wild energy based on a strong foundation of thumping bass and electro-inspired sonics which flows seamlessly into next track, “ In For The Kill,” with its catchy drum arrangements, earworm melodies and anthemic feel.
Elements of futuristic musicality that peeked out on the first three tracks bloom into full potential with stand-out final offering “Universal Hand,” which delves into a timely and relatable theme of togetherness in loneliness. With an 80s ballad sound that he seems to naturally lean into, the track is nexus of nostalgic soundscapes and modern drum movements inspiring listeners to consider and come to terms with the detached reality the world currently lives in. A track reflecting on the age of digital communication, which Crighton describes as looking into both the specific isolation that people have felt during the pandemic but beyond that “the loneliness one may feel within themselves.”
Armed with a dichotomy of energies, which feels manic even as it’s delivered in a relaxed drawl, the EP is an exciting listen, but lacks emotion. Crighton’s low voice and monotonous vocal style is intriguing in the first few minutes, but as it stretches on from track one to three, minds begin to wander away from the musical landscape he is presenting.
For Crighton, who finds escapism in eccentricity and theatrics in every facet of life and who explains his musical goal as “wanting to open up a wider dialogue surrounding the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community,” this lack of emotiveness is strange. However, if it was an intentional move meant to the highlight the isolating barriers that the digital reality imposes on the world, it may be a show of genius artistry on his part, especially when considering that he finishes with the flourish of the energetic, repeat-worthy “Universal Hand.”
Championing self-love and exploring the less-explored stories within the musical landscape, Crighton has spoken about his hopes for constantly evolving, empowering artistry, “I am a firm believer in all humans being treated with love and respect despite their background. I feel that there is still no strong representation for queer people in the musical landscape at the moment (especially not in the UK) and I really strive to be that.”
Refusing to blend into the crowds, this self-produced rising star’s love for music has been growing since the age of 16 and with his debut EP he establishes himself as an artist-to-watch.