Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Daniel Caesar's "Praise Break" is Beautiful

The Toronto music scene has been buzzing recently. Spearheaded by Drake and his OVO crew, the Canadian city has birthed the "No New Friends" rapper, along with crooners PARTYNEXTDOOR and The Weeknd. As Drake said on the "Tuesday" remix, he's "put the world on a sound"; the sound of Toronto. But there's a new singer from the city who seems to have broken away from this mold of the Toronto sound. His name is Daniel Caesar, and his new EP is immaculate.

Daniel Caesar is relatively unknown, bolstering around 1,600 followers on SoundCloud and a little over 1,000 on Twitter. His EP, entitled Praise Break was released a few days ago fro free via SoundCloud. The 7-track EP showcases Caesar singing his heart out over slow instrumentals of pianos and electric guitars. Caesar croons about his first love and religion mostly on Praise Break, but don't let that discourage you. Caesar's new soul sound is absolutely gorgeous, and anyone can relate to it. The religion in the EP is not overbearing at all, and is most subtle, with samples from gospel songs and a gorgeous prayer in the middle of the song "Pseudo". Caesar sings with ease over the simple piano production on "Chevalier" to the haunting guitar riffs on the 6 minute epic of "We'll Always Have Paris". Praise Break is one of the most stunning projects I've heard all year, and I would recommend it to anyone.

On another note, I would like to dedicate this blog post to my grandmother, Ann Kirk. She had been battling Alzheimer's disease for the past five years, and passed early this morning. Similarly to Caesar, she was a devoted Christian, and I've related a lot of what he's been singing about back to her. When my grandmother was near the end, and her mind was nearly gone, she would still pray. She was a loving, kind, selfless woman who left behind a family that misses her dearly. This is a music blog, but I want to pay respect to the memory of a very special woman in my life. My grandmother is in a much better place now, but I still love and miss her profoundly.

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