Rising Star Records At Groove Studio
There’s a lot to like about the music scene in Atlanta and its surrounding suburbs. There’s a diversity of style that’s something special, and there’s a willingness to collaborate and experiment. And there’s also no dearth of venues for budding performers to test the waters. Atlanta-area native McCall Kimball, who performs under the solo name McCall, is one such artist.
McCall got her musical start as a singer thanks to her love for musical theater, performing in a staging of “The Sound of Music” at the Fox Theatre when she was just 12 years old — though she’d played the guitar for years by that point, working on a full-throated, bluesy delivery of melodic folk-pop tunes that are accessible, intriguing, and show significant promise for a singer still in her teens.
Take McCall’s four-song EP Can’t Keep Waiting, released in 2014 when she was still in the midst of her early high-school years. She’s been working on the songs for a while, and McCall says that they reflect a younger songwriter still finding her musical footing.
“I’m proud of the project, but all the songs were written when I was 14 years old,” say McCall. “Since then, I’ve been working on my guitar skill with Eric Stallings at the Groove Studio, as well as taking voice, performance, and songwriting workshops, so I think people will be able to hear a more mature, well-developed sound in comparison to Can’t Keep Waiting.”
Since those tunes were record, McCall’s been working on pushing things in a more creative direction. “Ideally, I would love to bridge the gap between EDM music and ‘organic’ instrumentation. I love playing blues guitar, but I also want to be able to dance with my audience. Think a combination of Alessia Cara, Hozier, and Flume,” she says of her ideal musical world.
Gigs so far have taken her around the metro area, from casual coffeeshop sets at places like Roswell’s Land of 1000 Hills or Herron’s Coffee & Wine Bar in Acworth, to esteemed yet intimate intern venues like Smith’s Olde Bar or the incomparable Eddie’s Attic — a gold standard for Georgia singer-songwriters. Playing in these various settings has allowed McCall to connect with likeminded artists from the region, and she says that’s been supremely satisfying.
“The abundance of talent is really what has surprised me the most,” says McCall. “There are so many crazy talented up-and-coming artists, especially in the Atlanta area, and it’s so inspiring to be surrounded by that level of musical ability. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to co-write and perform with some amazing people this past year.”
McCall’s voice shines most when she’s in front of a crowd, sets down her guitar and claps a simple rhythm — as the audience claps along, McCall belts out truly soulful tunes in an uncluttered, affecting way. Simplicity’s a great way to connect with an audience, after all.
February saw a number of area shows as well as a jaunt up to New York for a gig at the nightclub The Cutting Room, and there’s more audience connections coming up.
“Well, it’s shaping up to be a busy year, which I’m super excited about!” says McCall. “I’m releasing three singles this summer, as well as adding a ton of shows to the roster.” With shows booked through the summer, she aims to play at least weekly, if not more frequently. McCall’s stepping onto stages further afield, with gigs in Athens, Atlanta, Dallas and more. Make your way to Milledgeville’s Gringo’s, for instance, on Friday, April 8, and you won’t find McCall celebrating simply another solid set in front of a crowd—that’s also the night she’ll celebrate her 18th birthday.