Safest Spaces + Callum Kerrigan: Split – EP review
Experts in melancholic longing and mental illness, two of the emo movement’s most talented troubadours join forces for a phenomenal EP. Sam Lambeth reviews.
Callum Kerrigan has been the self-proclaimed King of Cannock for quite some time. Over the years, he has toiled away, a wondering minstrel plugging his acoustic into his broken heart. It has taken some time and turmoil, but Kerrigan’s haunting howl and chugging chords have finally given him ascension in that troubled world of emo rock. Meanwhile, in the land of concrete cows, Milton Keynes duo Safest Spaces – and with a population of zero, what safer space to live in than MK? – have been on a similar arch. Naturally, a collaboration between the two makes perfect and joyful sense.
Songs about declining mental health, withering self-esteem and hating your own looks may make for heavy weather, but there is something incredibly endearing about the battle scars of ‘Car’, which proves suitably moving. Relapsing is a distressing, traumatic journey down the drain, but the flowery meadows and wishful dreams of Daisies provide fresh hope.
Split is aching, painful but almost perfect. Both acts bring their hearts and souls to the table and leave nothing behind. Their mental health and self-doubt may wax and wane, but their mercurial talents, camaraderie and showmanship mean that their songwriting nous is never going to be diminished.
Sam Lambeth is a journalist, writer and musician, born in the West Midlands but currently living in London. He performs in his own band, Quinn. He is on Twitter, and more of his work can be found on his archive.