London-based Caspar Leopard’s skill for atmosphere is clear on “Expire Pt. I,” and it’s a promising debut for an artist on the cusp of something beautiful.
“Expire Pt. 1” (released Nov. 2, 2017) sounds like waking up: A burbling array of synths and strings crescendo into a drop where London-based musician Caspar Leopard’s quiet voice enters amid washy cymbals, making a request:
Gather me up and point me in the right direction
A little while back there it seems I lost my way
Don’t want to give up
I feel the water
I feel the breeze
I feel the earth
There is a cinematic aspect to “Expire Pt. I,” from the strings to the way it feels like intro credits could be rolling throughout the opening instrumental. Yet it doesn’t feel overly dramatic – quite the contrary, in fact. Caspar Leopard’s calming voice amid the pulsing landscape of synths feel hypnotic and meditative.
“Expire Pt. I” – Caspar Leopard
Ringing in at just over two minutes and thirty seconds, the song is brief but powerful. The structure seems to mirror Caspar Leopard’s desired effect of the lyrics – they’re a call to stop and pay attention to what’s around you, to the very simplicity of the world.
Says Leopard: “Within the current climate where it feels like we don’t agree on anything, (filmmaker) Hannah McKibbin and I wanted ‘Expire Pt. I’ to show people drawn together through the universal language of dance. No matter who we are or where we are from, we all have the same fears, desires and impulses. When we turn down the volume of the turbulent modern world, we can all find connection – with ourselves and with other people.”
In his second verse, there is an admission of misguidedness:
I think I lost sight of the beautiful things around us
When the worlds so loud it can get a little hard to hear
Don’t want to give up
Cause I feel we’re closer
To the beating heart in the earth
Underneath my feet
The speaker recognizes what he’s missing out on, and reminds himself not to give in to the chaotic pull of the loudness in the world. There’s a moment of connectivity here – not just to oneself, but to the rest of the world as well.
The refrain “I feel the water, I feel the breeze, I feel the earth,” is mantra-like. It’s like a talisman. It’s a moment to breathe and sink into your natural surroundings. But just as you feel pulled in to the little sonic world that Caspar Leopard has created, the rug is pulled out from under you. We are left with the echo of Caspar’s voice ringing out over a high-pitched synthesizer, repeating over and over:
It’s calling me
Caspar Leopard’s skill for atmosphere is clear on this short song, and it’s a promising debut for an artist on the cusp of something beautiful.
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