Track Premiere: Cal Folger Day “Act 6”

Photo by Saoirse Sexton

Cal Folger Day’s forthcoming album, Piece-dye, is remarkable in many ways. Foremost is the narrative woven throughout and lyrical content. Day conducted an interview with Irene Nalle – a distant aunt and Irish immigrant – exploring her experience arriving in New York City in the post-war boom. From there, Day used verbatim quotes to construct the lyrics for Piece-dye and because of that, the record is a time-traveling, avant pop marvel.

“At the beginning, I meant for this whole project (Piece-dye) to be for a school choir and classroom instruments — xylophones and recorders,” Day explains. “From there things took a turn, though.” she continues, “It was originally totally an a cappella track. But once we had the vocals down, Phil who produced the record and I spent a lot of very rabbithole hours adding in increasingly over the top accents… we were grabbing whatever was in the studio, a saxophone, fake synth strings, real piano, lotsa bass. It felt already so chock-full that I wouldn’t have known how to begin “arranging” an accompaniment, but Phil is very fearless about using the apparatus of doing and selecting takes AS the piece itself, so it was a great experience of that approach for me.”

Along with the lyrics, Day’s voice steals the show on “Act 6.” Incredible harmonies show off not just her precise control, but especially her expansive imagination and unique approach. The classic jazz-inflected instrumental underpinnings are minimal, but pointed, always laying the exact right foundation for Day’s acrobatics. How she sings lines like, “No the early years I mean I paid in spades for any enjoyment” or intertwines multiple phrases such as the utterly hypnotic reverie of “I remember staying at the one at the Via Veneto” and “And when you step out on,” is pure enchantment. Her presence is commanding. The delivery is captivating.

“Act 6” is a prime example of the extraordinary nature of Piece-dye. She packs so much detail and character in the album’s 28 minutes that it becomes part documentary on top of everything else. It’s one-of-a-kind. Piece-dye will be released on June 3. Pre-order HERE and stream below.

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