An Essay on Casa.
Today my new EP is released. I’ve decided to name it Casa. It consists of four songs that I wrote and recorded earlier this year during one of the hardest times of my life. One of those times in life that you look back on and pessimistically appreciate but never want to experience again. Ever. A period of time that now feels to have a heavy hand in shaping my present day, a direct influence in why I’m currently writing this to you.
Casa means home. Home is a shitty title for an EP and so I decided to call it Casa. Every song on the EP was written and recorded in my home and the subject matter of each track relates to my relationship with home life, with having a secure home, and living with the possibility that at any second your home, your friendships, your dreams, your career, or your family could end. Not just fall apart to be rebuilt stronger than ever, but fall apart for good. What was once a rock reveals itself to be only a tightly compressed ball of dust, one day it will disperse, separated and carried by the wind to an infinite series of possibilities. It’s an evolution that requires extreme separation in order to settle into a new state of being.
Each of the four songs on Casa have to do with struggle. A struggle to look at myself, my life, and what needed to change. The EP starts with “Ignore It” and ends with “Falling Apart”, both titles reference resistance. In all honesty I was very resistant to release this EP. I was ready to put the songs on the shelf to collect dust, maybe I could return to them years from now and sample the guitar or vocal melody for a new song. After recording, I didn’t want to hear them again. In some ways it’s difficult for me to listen to them now. I’ve come to the realization that I probably won’t perform these songs live. They were written and recorded during a time of life that I’m not trying to recreate on stage. The collection is extremely personal to me and what is less personal than singing the same song every night to crowds who sing it back to you. Or stare blankly with arms folded. I want to keep these songs to myself and if you like them I hope you do the same. Play them in your headphones, play them in your car while stuck in traffic, play them when your family falls apart, when you realize you never said ‘I love you’ to your best friend, when she leaves you, when he finds someone new, the moment you realize you’ve grown apart.
Casa references where I wrote and recorded this EP. It is also a nod to where I’ve written and recorded all of my albums, where I rehearsed for my first live show, figured out the guitar melody to ‘Freeze and Explode’, the lyrics to ‘Perfect Day’, the artwork to ‘Evinspacey’. It is also where I grew up, where I formed a relationship with this world, with my family and my friends, with myself and with those I’ve loved. It has been my rock. But again, the rock will inevitably evolve to dust and that is the true essence of Casa.
My resistance to the rock crumbling is what created this EP. I needed to change, my life needed to change. But I fucking hate change. I questioned everything from my family to the long term relationship I’ve had with my best friend and love of my life. I questioned Cassettes Won’t Listen and where I see myself in 20 years. I found myself in psychotherapy and questioning why I was questioning everything. My questions had questions. My career was affecting my relationships. My relationships were affecting my dreams. My dreams were affecting my career. My career was affecting my home. Fuck.
Every question made the rock crumble even more. The harder I gripped for answers the faster the rock would disintegrate into the wind. If I wanted to hold onto the rock I would need to stop asking questions. But if you stop asking questions your life might as well be over. Therefore I needed to lose my rock. I needed to let go of Casa.
To me, Casa is Cassettes Won’t Listen. Casa is home. To let go of Casa I’d need to let go of a part of me I’ve held onto for many years. If a rock inevitably crumbles and my rock was my home and my identity then I’ve realized that letting go of my home and Cassettes Won’t Listen is not only inevitable but the right path to take.
This brings us up to speed as I write this on the release day of Casa. Most people don’t decide to call it quits on their release day. But after reading this I hope you can understand that the EP has made a decision for me. The songs have written themselves. It’s a collection of music released in an honest, subtle way. You won’t see my videos on MTV this time around. You won’t see much publicity or radio play either. This is an intimate release and it will land in the hands of those it is supposed to.
To be clear, Im not quitting or saying that Cassettes Won’t Listen is “breaking up”. I’m not announcing an end to the project and hoping that in 20 years I can make some money off of a reunion show. I’m just explaining my latest release and the impact it has had on me. I’ve decided to move my career out of my home and no longer write, record, or create there. I’m writing this to you from my new studio in downtown Los Angeles, a place so unfamiliar to me, it couldn’t be further away from home. I’ve decided to let go of Casa and share it with you. I mastered it at Abbey Road Studios, a place where many of my favorite records have passed through. From here I plan to focus on my side project, Dfalt, along with my label, Daylight Curfew. I no longer want these to be side projects, it will be my main project for this next year. Music inspired by this studio in the middle of this crazy city. CWL’s rock has been let go of and who knows when another one will be found. Could be next week or next year. Or never. One thing is certain, the rock will be different.
Cassettes Won’t Listen was born and nurtured in Brooklyn and doesn’t belong in Los Angeles right now. Dfalt first opened it’s eyes in the hills along Mulholland Drive, overlooking downtown, four years ago when I decided to switch coasts. It’s only right that I give the project time to grow and find it’s own rock. It’s own Casa.
Listen to Casa here.
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