Take a Friday chill pill with the newest single from Toronto singer/songwriter Evan J Cartwright’s upcoming debut LP, “impossibly blue”, and its initially unassuming yet harshly stimulating companion video. Cartwright, the go-to drummer for mainstay Canadian acts like U.S. Girls and The Weather Station, brings his unique songwriting chops to this solo LP, and that’s on full display on this charming, meditative cut.
“impossibly blue” was the main standout track while combing through the album, so I’m glad that it’s out early and I can share it with you all. It’s pretty laid back, with minimal, pulsing acoustic plucks and a placid synthesizer establishing a backbone. Cartwright’s vocals are almost entirely dry; set forward in the mix and sounding almost like he’s right here in the room with you. Also for a sonics nerd like me, the end features some lovely pitched-around bird songs, something I can’t say I’ve heard before on record. The fusion of field recordings, minimal backing tracks and Cartwright’s forthright delivery of simple lyrics make a listen a misty balm of a time. Juxtapose that with the video: Cartwright jumping rope in slow motion while images of essentially the entire recorded history of humankind flash over his face, you’ve got quite the whiplash.
Coming out on Idée Fixe, a label I really started to root for when they put out the personally world-shaking LP from Shabason, Krgovich & Harris, Philadelphia, in 2020, bit by bit feels sonically at home and a welcome addition to their catalog. It fits alongside Philadelphia‘s melancholic observational songwriting, gentle instrumentation and its real life feel. It feels wholly intentional, not just some quirk to make it interesting. Not to expose too much of my romanticism towards early 00s indie, but I get flashes of that in the mix as well. It’s music that you feel exists within your own interpretation, but at the same time blends into the life around you, as well as establishing a fictional third plane of existence where this music is the general soundtrack, these magical moments occurring naturally. Does that make sense? Either way, it’s Friday. Or it’s whenever you’re reading after the fact. Take it easy.
Evan J Cartwright’s bit by bit comes out April 15 via Idée Fixe – listen more + pre-order HERE.