In Your Head, the recent album released by indie-rock artist Cal Wilson was co-written by an Artificial Intelligence (AI) named Cal.X.

After his father passed away, Wilson found himself unable to process his pain. His feelings were blocked.

Wilson explains, “I felt like when my dad went away, my ability to create went away—he was also a songwriter and my first musical inspiration.” To process his feelings and express himself, Cal started exploring AI as a co-writer and emotional support.

The AI creative process involved the human co-writer feeding parameters to the platforms, such as stylistic cues, keywords, and even chord progressions.

Once completed, the album was recorded in one weekend at Portland, Oregon’s Trash Treasury Studio. Wilson and his favourite band, Seattle’s Heatwarmer, laid down the tracks under the auspices of producer Cameron Spies, who also mixed the album, while Mike Nolte handled mastering.

In Your Head begins with a country-rock-flavoured song, “Home of the Pale Horse,” riding a soft, sparkling piano and drawling guitar tones, conjuring up suggestions of The Beatles covering Pure Prairie League. Wilson’s voice has an alluring rhinal quality, imbuing the lyrics with slightly melancholic tones.

Entry points include the rambling, drifting feel of “Disappear,” riding a mid-tempo rhythm topped by winding layers of shimmering textures. While “Hummingbird,” whose title immediately recalls Cat Stevens, rolls out on dreamy, glimmering surfaces as Wilson’s tender, velvety timbres imbue the lyrics with sensitive savours.

Cal Wilson in 2023, photo by Robbie Augsperger
Cal Wilson in 2023, photo by Robbie Augsperger

The retro, upbeat harmonics of “Glowing Lillies” transport listeners back to the ’60s, blending charming tinctures of indie-rock and pop coloration.

A personal favourite because of its teeter-tottering rhythm and bright and breezy sensation, “Yelling” unveils a persuasive melody full of shiny hues and lustrous harmonies.

Characterized by Beatles-esque essence suffused with hints of sadness, In Your Head offers a delicious merger of ’60s alt-rock and pop.

In Your Head Track Listing:

1. Home of the Pale Horse
2. I Assume
3. Disappear
4. In Your Head
5. Hummingbird
6. Glowing Lillies
7. The World Died in a Dream
8. Yelling

Run Time: 23:33
Released Date: May 12, 2023
Record Label: Independent