reviewed by Michael Thomas
Winter is a season of bitter cold, impossible transportation conditions, slipping on ice and praying that your heating keeps working. But when you’re comfortable and not having to shovel snow, there’s a remarkable stillness and beauty to winter. It’s that stillness that Casually Dating captures so perfectly on the winter EP.
He describes his music as “lo-fi” and that’s certainly accurate. The sound quality of the EP is actually really charming, making listeners feel like they’re sitting in a room with him. Largely he plays slower, thoughtful piano pop music that, again, feels like a warm comfort when it feels freezing cold.
What also makes the EP so charming is that it feels like you’re hearing the record being put together as you’re listening. “(false beginning)” gives you about 30 seconds of the proceeding “cold turkey” before he decides to start over. In “(before b4 bedtime),” much like we heard in Spirit Desire’s Adrian, we hear someone make a suggestion for how the album should sound.
Whether this suggestion was or was not implemented doesn’t really matter. Songs like “cold turkey” are simply beautiful, with a piano chord progression and some minor background noise making the vocals of the song all the sweeter. It’s sweet but also kind of solemn. The next song, “change,” sounds a little more positive instrumentally, though it seems to be about changes you might not want to deal with. “When it’s left for dead, death will bring a change,” he sings.
The EP’s namesake is six minutes long, with long stretches of just piano. Again, it feels like a good musical representation of the season. It’s as gentle as snowflakes falling on a cold morning. And “the collapse” doesn’t need any vocals at all, just four more minutes of piano drifting along.
“b4 bedtime” is the biggest surprise of the album, where piano takes a backseat to very crunchy-sounding guitars—the kind of music you might not want to hear right before bedtime.
The winter EP is not for someone in a hurry. Take your time and let the snow fall.
Top Track: “change”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)