Premiere: Embracing Life with Caspar Leopard’s Powerful “Is This Real?”

Caspar Leopard captures humanity’s insatiable thirst for more in “Is This Real?” a poignant electrofolk ballad full of soul-stirring depth.

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We tend to remember the first time we asked one of life’s unanswerable questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? The thoughts that haunted my eight-year-old self will surely haunt my eighty-year-old self: In fact, the more we grow, the more questions we ask.

It never ends. We’re never satisfied, whether in our quest for knowledge, or in any other endeavor; there’s always another rung to climb in the great ladder of life. Caspar Leopard captures humanity’s insatiable thirst for more in “Is This Real?” a poignant electrofolk ballad full of soul-stirring depth.

Is This Real? - Caspar Leopard

Is This Real? – Caspar Leopard

One more breath, hold, let go,
I, I, I need to feel,
To feel this is real,
And I, I can’t let go,
So let me back in,
Where have you been,
I’ve been dreaming

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the incredible music video for Caspar Leopard’s new single “Is This Real?,” independently released May 24, 2018 via CL Recordings. A collaboration between Caspar Leopard and ex-Ardmann animator/director Stefano Cassini (Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromet, Time Burton’s Corpse Bride), “Is This Real?” employs breathtaking anthropomorphic imagery – a seeming staple in the Caspar Leopard toolkit – to tell its sobering tale.

A truly magnificent, piece of thought-provoking music, “Is This Real?” comes close on the heels of Caspar Leopard’s debut Restoration EP, released in February 2018. It was through this must-listen record that Leopard first introduced his minimalist mix of electronic, orchestral, and folk music – not to mention his penchant for dwelling in the philosophical. Yet what truly blows Caspar Leopard out of the water is his ability to harness multiple mediums in making his art: In premiering the music video for “Son of the Morning,” which explores the vastness of life and our desire for meaning, we noted how Leopard’s visuals “evoke a sense of wonder at our endlessly dazzling existence.” (“Son of the Morning” was a collaborative effort with animator Ben Wilson)

Caspar Leopard’s Breathtaking “Son of the Morning” Seeks Meaning in Abstraction

:: PREMIERE ::

As impressive as “Son of the Morning” remains, we cannot understate the power and beauty of “Is This Real?”: The story of a shape-shifting blob of earth ultimately leaves us in tears as we watch a life cycle progress. Stefano Cassini, whose work includes animation in Corpse Bride and Wallace and Gromit, brings an inimitable spark to the animation; together, he and Leopard give us incredible scenic vistas of an Earth not unlike our own, but for the odd semi-human entity desperate to understand its purpose and meaning.

"Is This Real?" - Caspar Leopard

“Is This Real?” – Caspar Leopard

We watch the blob sprout limbs and plop on the land, marveling at its newfound existence upon solid matter. Soon though, it looks up to the mountain in its midst; it must reach that peak, and so it makes its way up, eventually getting there and marveling at the scenic vista all around. Its sights are now set on the sky: And so, it sprouts wings and take flight. We watch it soar through sky, basking amongst the clouds.

One more time, don’t let go,
I, I, I need to feel,
To feel this is real,
And I, I can’t let go,
So let me back in,
Where have you been,
I’ve been dreaming
"Is This Real?" - Caspar Leopard

“Is This Real?” – Caspar Leopard

But the higher you climb, the harder you fall. The blob could make it all the way to the moon, but still want the sun. ‘Is this Real’ is about the process we all seem to go through of always wanting more and never being fully satisfied with what we have, or the answers that we find,” Caspar Leopard tells Atwood Magazine. “As soon as we reach the summit, we want the next thing and then the next. If only we could remember that we don’t have to reach the sun to find happiness. It exists within us – we just need to know where to look. I’m still trying to learn how to enjoy the process and the journey – and that it’s not just the end result that matters in life.”

Hold on tight, it’s not real life,
A smile through veil,
There’s wind on the sail,
As we draw close, so,
So close at night,
To find a way out,
We’re drifting, away
Caspar Leopard © JC Verona

Caspar Leopard © JC Verona

Caspar Leopard continues to explore the complex questions that plague our very existence through his music. “Is This Real?” offers a lesson we are each fated to learn and re-learn, as we engage in an endless cycle of consumption and desire, wanting and having. Yet while it is against our nature to sit still and simply embrace the moment – to exist solely in the here and now, happy with what is and unencumbered by what could be  perhaps, for a little while, we can each take a step back, take a breath, and just be.

An utterly moving visual to an already-powerful song, “Is This Real?” encourages us to pause and reflect on life’s grandeur. Unlike the many rhetorical questions and unanswerable thoughts we’ll accumulate over time, this song does have an answer:

Yes. Yes, this is real.

Stream Caspar Leopard’s new video “Is This Real?” exclusively on Atwood Magazine!

“Is This Real?” – Caspar Leopard, Stefano Cassini

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:: stream/purchase “Is This Real?” here ::

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Is This Real? - Caspar Leopard

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📸 © JC Verona
📹 © Stefano Cassini & Caspar Leopard

Caspar Leopard’s Luminous “Expire Pt. I”

:: TODAY'S SONG ::

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Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com