Growing up in rural New Jersey and attending Berklee College of Music, Paige Calico’s sound mimics the expansive and insightful quirps of the countryside. Now based in Los Angeles, Calico’s rooted folk influence and intimate penned lyrics on her latest single and video “Arm Candy” provide a promising follow-up from her debut EP, Crying Diamonds. Pairing Calico’s signature rustic and sweet twangs with the video’s cues from a Robert Palmer video, comes a stirring revelation that embodies the thoughts of a woman.
“Our society can very easily pigeonhole women into feeling like they have a certain role to play and if you choose to sway from it there will be ridicule…or you’ll end up a cat lady alone forever. But there is nothing wrong with going off the beaten path (& cats are rad) and solitude is healthy, not a state of doom. It’s about staying true to you and if a little weed and whiskey helps, go for it,” says Calico.
Built from the threads of a lost conversation one has at night, “Arm Candy” dives immediately into the point of making it “easier” if Calico simply became an accessory at the end of a man’s arm. Scarlet Moreno’s direction extracts Calico’s blunt lines as she is depicted in the highest of fashion, constant pampering, yet somehow still incomplete. Moreno’s depiction is through a colorful, simple approach allowing Calico’s emotive words become the focal point of the video. Taking cues from Palmer videos, Moreno explains, “I remember the first time I watched those classic Robert Palmer videos as a kid and thinking I wanted to be like those women and not knowing exactly why. Now I realize it’s because of how strong and bold they looked, how they owned their woman-ness in a way I wasn’t used to seeing yet. I love bringing that back with this vid and making it about them and Paige sharing in those moments of power.”
Each verse opens up lost vulnerability as Calico paints different scenarios. The track’s bittersweet flavor teeters from lush melodies, to a raspier shade of blue. The constant need of “killing the blues by chasing high” is contradicted towards the end of the tracks imagery of the inability to not crave “something sweeter” and is eloquently portrayed throughout the track’s time. While the track’s production isn’t entirely painful —rummaged over a simple drum beat — there’s a honest sigh of relief that drips from Calico’s delivery.