“Fans of Two Gallants, The Cure, choirs of ghosts, and lost to history blues singers will all be pleased with the sounds that come out of Callow. Both members sing to create dreamy harmonies seeped in some otherly presence. Callow is the perfect soundtrack to hopping the next freight train or camping in the deep, dark woods. Live, the duo set up across from one another, enabling them to work a splendid, avant garde magic while secretly communicating thoughts that only Callow can pick up on. Melodies meander through a wild west filled with whispers and yells, building slowly yet surely into meaningful, powerful tracks.”
"some groovy-sounding rock music which has that late 60’s feel to it, and we love that."
“Red Moses (Vocals/Guitar) and Sami Knowles (keys, percussion, vocals) are Callow, a singer-songwriter two-piece from the black depths of the ocean. Often with only one floor tom, Sami will keep a steady percussive pace through entire songs, reminding one of the implacable rise and fall of the tides. Red and his guitar croon over the deep-yet-simplistic music, seeming to explore humanity’s heartache, its soul-searching, and its sorrow. Rarely does Chico get to witness something so honest, simple, and rich as San Francisco’s Callow. It’s kind of like watching a time-lapse of clouds skate over a lonely mountain range, and it feels a little bit like Sigur Ros, if they were American and sang with a little bit of cowboy-twang in their voices.”
“Callow's sound is haunting and beautiful, with angst and tension balanced with primal minimalism.”
"A great guitar tone built of longing and disappointment... with the counterpoint of Knowles' voice, they combine to rail against the darkness, emptiness of the great open spaces and solitude of the road. At times, his guitar thunders above her drums—at other moments, her keyboards add an orchestral atmosphere. Occasionally, the sound is like the ebb and flow of the tide—perhaps that water on the horizon is a desert mirage? They are actually anything but emotionally callow. It's really about his voice and what he is saying with it, which is considerable."
“Together, Red Moses and Sami Knowles create a sound that’s haunting, gritty and filled with ghostly vocal harmonies, perfect for cranking up during a solo road trip through the desert. They get a lot of sound out of the four hands and two voices between them, with Knowles taking on triple duty by playing percussion and keyboard and singing simultaneously. Moses’ guitar chords are spacey and droning, reminiscent of Spaghetti Western rock band Spindrift.”
"Strong vocals, minimal instrumentals, sombre tones, and poetic lyrics create a sense of mystery that is part magical and part ominous foreboding."
“a strange triad of rock, folk and swampy ambiences”
"A sight to see as well as something to hear.... in word: Penetrating."
“A nocturnal and poetic ritual out in the open”
“The name of the band, Callow, suggests a lack of maturity or experience, a humble choice of title in an industry saturated with evocative and macho designations.”
“Some of the most gorgeously haunting and mesmerizing tune-smithing we have heard for many a long, lonely night.”
“From the sparse and atmospheric opening minutes of the album, Callow clearly focus on texture and dynamics in their song-writing, featuring subtle harmonies featuring male and female vocals which work well to provide emotional depths to the proceedings. If forced, I would suggest Orb Weaver falls somewhere between doom rock and folk music, with soft piano melodies providing a backdrop to sparse guitar passages and brooding vocals suggestive of sorrow and reminiscence. Indeed, Red’s infectiously anguished vocals compliment the music very well, though it would be nice to hear that energy balanced more often by Sami’s crystal clear voice. Callow are at their best when juxtaposing gentle elements with the passionate, and their music really comes alive when these factors are put into play.”
“The bleakness at the edges of "Strange" by San Francisco duo Callow (Red Moses and Sami Knowles) will linger long after the track fades away. So too will the honesty of this guitar-and-drums journey into the dark.”
“Unabashed, relentless and unapologetic, Callow weaves stories about unfortunate life struggles through a lens that is both smoky and ethereal.”
“Won’t sober up lovesick music listeners like garden-variety pop songs would, but serves more as a “hair-of-the-dog” cure and further inebriates them via beautiful minimalistic slowcore. It’s relieving to hear a rock band coming out of San Francisco that separates itself from the pretentious rock herd”
“The duo interweaves harmonies into equal parts of instrumental grit, seductive beauty, and guitar fuzz to jog naturally along as if in a seedy part of town where every twist and turn leads to another unexpected surprise.”
“The word 'callow' means immature or inexperienced. But this duo comes on like the opposite of its namesake with songs like "Dead to Me," a spare but mesmerizing number elevated by lead singer Red Moses' assured vocals."”
“Immediately striking are the evocative, nearly tortured, vocals of Moses. Knowles drawling twang is the perfect complement and gives these tracks deep visceral appeal.”
“You’re in for a subtle, but moving and powerful emotional music experience.”
“Callow’s instrumentation is sparse, with chords that ring out on the piano and guitar-picking patterns that walk in single file, culminating in darkly beautiful compositions.”
“A raw contralto will get you far in the indie world, particularly if you specialize in songs about heartbreak, death, and the fallout after a bad relationship. Singer Red Moses has it. Whoever did him wrong paved the way for some forceful emo-folk, buoyed by heavy chords and portentous lyrics. Don't let the name fool you.”
“what punk rock would have been had it evolved from The Velvet Underground’s airy slowness rather than their minimalism.”
“Red’s lead vocals emote an anguished earnestness that fuel Callow’s songs of struggle, sorrow and despair, but offer a redemptive consolation. Providing a refined contrast to Red’s vocals are the soothing, angelic backing vocals of Sami whose voice weaves in and out of harmonies and duets that provide a sweeping flow to their sound.”
“Orb Weaver is simply beautiful in its melancholic woolgathering.”
“Callow soundscapes are constructed from an ethereal dreamy quality of Red’s slowly punctuated strumming, interspersed with single note lead melodies, while Sami’s hypnotic drumming anchors the rhythm section and her keyboards nestle around Red’s guitar rhythms.”
“Merging through a mutual love of music, Moses and Knowles power these eight tracks with a chemistry that is undeniably present. Knowles feeds off Moses’ chops with subtle and still, evocative pairings that are the seamless contrast to Moses’ bittersweet tendencies. In plain terms, the spells that Moses mentions are ones that leave him feeling blue and instead of piling on the depression, the album’s structure and songs bind everything into what might be considered a stirring listen.”
“This isn’t house cleaning music. It is very dark and exploratory. Light some candles –not one or two, but maybe forty—on a full moon, and think about things. Very very deeply.”