A modern band with a classic sound. That’s Calling Cadence in a nutshell. The Los Angeles duo released their self-titled debut full-length record on May 3rd via Hi-Res Records, a glorious 15-song introduction that emphasizes their strength as a live unit. Featuring the wondrous, compelling vocal partnership of Oscar Bugarin and Rae Cole, the album was recorded in such a fashion so as to pay tribute to the music the group grew up on. Each song was recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely in analog format which really helps show the love and hard work that went into this release. Their sound is based on harmony, and it’s heavily influenced by American singer-songwriters of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

The band name Calling Cadence and many of this debut album’s tracks originated while Bugarin was serving in the military. Interestingly enough, he had planned on a career of military service, until he won the army version of the song competition TV show The Voice which motivated him to veer his life off in a completely different direction. It was very important to both Bugarin and Cole that they keep a classic feel to their music, which is part of the reason they chose analog tape to record with. It was also a method of staying true to themselves and their audience while illustrating that they’re a unit with clear musical values and traditions.

With a band predicated so much on the music of the past, Calling Cadence was the perfect choice for our newest Stereo Six. Read on as Bugarin and Cole outline six (with one bonus) of their favourite, most influential records of all time.

1. Stevie Ray Vaughan – Texas Flood (1983, Epic Records)

Oscar Bugarin: “I was 12 or 13 when I found Texas Flood through my guitar teacher, Dave Cellentano, because I told him I wanted to learn the blues. Also around the same time, somebody gave me a 12-string. I played along to every song of that album, ‘Pride and Joy’ and ‘Lenny’ being my favourites. It opened up the world of blues to a younger me, and I had the deluxe version with ‘SRV Speaks,’ an interview of him explaining his take on playing the blues.”

2. The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969, EMI Records)

Bugarin: “It’s hard to choose just one Beatles album, but Abbey Road inspired me the most as a songwriter and musician. The album is musically diverse, with different genres but they still sound like the Beatles. I love how they string a medley of unfinished songs together, not knowing what to do with them at the time. Also, the band’s last album was released with a little unfinished note at the end on a secret track.”

Artwork for the albums Calling Cadence lists in this Stereo Six

3. Jimi Hendrix – Axis: Bold as Love (1967, Track Records)

Bugarin: “I haven’t really heard much of Jimi that I didn’t like. I owe a lot to him as a guitarist. I was growing up in a ‘religious’ household as a kid, so I had to sneak in Jimi’s psychedelic tracks. This is another album I used to try to play along to and would get blown away every time by the genius of this album. Still has some of my most favourite Jimi songs of all time, ‘Little Wing,’ ‘Bold as Love,’ and ‘Wait Till Tomorrow,’ just to name a few.”

4. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (1977, Warner Bros. Records)

Rae Cole:Fleetwood Mac is just one of those bands I can listen to 100 times over and never grow sick of. The diversity of their music is a huge influence on me. Even though they like to stay connected to their blues roots, they really showcase their unique sound by incorporating so many different styles of writing, which I think we like to do with our music as well. Stevie Nicks has such a unique sound, and songs like ‘Gold Dust Woman’ really inspired my own personal writing style and sound. I also like their focus on harmony, ‘The Chain’ is a perfect representation of that.”

5. The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow (2011, sensibility)

Cole: “I will always adore The Civil Wars. They’re one of the bands I wish I could see live, just to experience their connection with each other in person. Of course, their harmonies are a big influence on me, but also their respect for each other when they sing together. Their blend and overall feel really come through with each song. I also love when music and lyrics make you feel something powerful, and with songs like ‘Poison & Wine,’ or ‘My Father’s Father,’ they really do a good job at making that happen.”

6. Sheryl Crow – Sheryl Crow (1996, A&M Records)

Cole:Sheryl Crow is an influence I’ve had since I was very little. My dad used to play this album in his old Toyota during our drives to our regular backpacking trips. Of course, I knew every song and would sing along every time he played it. Her Americana/roots genres really drive home for me, and I admire her soul, both in her performance and writing. I’ve found that throughout my life, I always find my way back to this album for inspiration, especially when it comes to this band.”

Bonus: Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young – Déjà Vu (1970, Atlantic Records)

Cole: “I started listening to CSNY when I was really young, as long as I can remember. I loved the harmonies and how their four voices blended. It was essentially my master class in harmony and songwriting. In the beginning of Calling Cadence, I wanted to use CSNY as a reference for some of our songs and harmony. This album, in particular, I would listen to over and over wishing I could sound like them and play guitar like Stephen Stills.”

Artwork for the album ‘Calling Cadence’ by Calling Cadence
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