Analogy: You’ve done a drug that slows everything down but yet you remain fully aware
Genre: Alternative/ Indie
I guess the word/term Vergangenheitsbewältigung refers to Germany being ashamed of there past and the struggle to overcome it. But, it is also the name of Slauson Malone’s newest project which seems to derive itself from the album in 2019. I’m making this assumption do to the cover art being extremely similar for both projects.
Jaspar Marsalis known as Slauson Malone gives us one the most confusing and sweet EP’s of 2020. A lot of this project can feel like one entire song just changing it’s physic and reshaping itself. If you’re somewhat familiar with his previous album (A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018) this shouldn’t surprise you.
Typically, I would like to break down this EP song by song but it just flows altogether so well that I will just brush over some general themes that I really enjoyed.
Jaspar brings us into this project asking for “help” and tells us he’s “feeling crazy” right off the bat. This idea continues to flow throughout the entire project where he will constantly refer to the idea of a “ghost”. Most songs have a slow, druggy, hazed out sound but with clear and vibrant instrumental moments especially with some guitar solos. It’s like being overly aware of a situation but not knowing what to do in that moment. Random sounds will be thrown at the listener constantly to break up this haze but will always fall back into the mellowness.
On another note, Jaspar, is not one to shy away from using his projects to reflect on the current and past states of America. He draws our attention to this most notably on THE MASSAGE 4 and on THE MESSAGE 3 from his lyrics of
(THE MASSAGE 4)
Stars and Stripes
Smiles and Mikes
Blind by lies
Turns all things white
(THE MESSAGE 3)
As I get older, I try and resist, but it persist
Absurd as it is, hand in a fist, in the sky
False sense of pride
In my skin, in my flesh, in my bones
The way his lyrics and instrumentation come across does fall back in line with this lost feeling. It’s a really slow burn and that’s exactly what Jaspar leaves us with on the last song. Slow burning horns kick this off and the idea of being at a wake doesn’t give the listener much hope for a bright future but encompasses much of what this project feels like it’s about. The sense of being and feeling lost but with brief instants that pull you in another direction for a split second. Even if that direction is even more confusing.
There’s so many odd sounds and little disruptive noises on each song that are one of the main reasons I enjoyed this EP so much. Slauson Malone continues to throw things at the listener you would not expect to happen but doesn’t disrupt the flow enough to entirely pull you away,but, those little moments will continuously lay on your mind when the project concludes.