Tris McCall isn’t just a musician, he’s also a journalist, having worked for Jersey Beat, NJArts, The Newark Star Ledger, NJ.com and many others. As a musician therefore his music is somewhat on the cerebral side, and as if to prove it, he’s also written an essay to go alongside his latest single, ‘Conspiracy Theory’.
Unlike other artists who take a similar academic approach to music, McCall isn’t weighed down by the burden of his intelligence, and the need to show off his scholarly ego. Instead, he takes his pop-infused indie rock sound, and uses it as a vehicle to drive his music. He lets the music do the talking, and at the end of it, you realise you’ve learned something without even trying.
The video for ‘Conspiracy Theory’ has been made by award-winning filmmaker George Pasles, and shows McCall lurking around a confined basement, leaning towards the camera, in a way that looks as though he might drop something crazy on anyone who looks at him. He sings to the camera, and as he does, details about the greatest conspiracies of our time, such as JFK, faked moon landings, 9/11, Paul is Dead – and so on – flash across the screen. contemporary characters like Felix Sater and Erik Prince get a not-so-honorable mention. McCall acts as the gatekeeper to this vault of alternative reality, calling out, “It’s all connected”…or is it?
‘Conpiracy Theory’ is part of ‘The Unmapped Man’, a collection of songs from McCall’s Almanac, an ongoing web-based project. The Almanac is a collection of songs which tell a story, set in different cities around the US. There’s an interactive map on the Almanac’s website, where visitors can select a city, and get a song, a short story from the perspective of the song’s narrator, a cartoon, and even a few tourist tips. Eventually the Almanac will spawn two full-length albums of incredibly unique, insightful, and introspective songs that makes the country feel a little bit more in sync. It’s all connected.