There is music out there that burns. The product of ingenuity, these are the releases that break down all assumptions and cast themselves into uncharted territory. On his latest release, THE GAZE has ignited in a blaze of the experimental.
lighter is a four-track study of music’s ability to break down barriers between audience and artist. Through dark beats and atmospheric nuances, singer/songwriter Sam Cremean speaks to the queer experience with remarkable clarity, navigating the issue of mental health with a sonic sensitivity and introspection that most artists only dream of.
Using dark beats to unravel poignant topics? On his latest EP, THE GAZE does the unexpected, exploring the nuances of mental health through nocturnal soundscapes.
Fresh off the release of his sophomore EP, this level of conceptual consideration is nothing new to the Melbourne artist. Boasting collaborations with the potential to melt your heart, Cremean has proven himself a master of translating deeply intricate experiences through addictive melodies. lighter is certainly no exception.
The EP’s opener don’t sweat the small stuff is a track bounded in anxiety, exploring its outwards presentation rather than the illness itself. We hear the audio of a mediation track interspersed with nocturnal tempos and uplifting lyricism. “Take a deep breath for me, close your eyes and count to three. We’re okay being incomplete,” Cremean sings. Through neon beats and distorted vocals, the artist tells us that he has come to terms with his anxiety, is working through it, and has found a new clarity in recovery.
With too honest, his tempo slows and we see the artist turn inwards. Where don’t sweat the small stuff looked at mental illness through consequence, this track boasts introspection. Sonically, the song is an atmospheric sojourn that blends the mellowed vibrancy of its predecessor with something much more distilled, one that is ushered in through Cremean’s poignant lyrics. We can’t tell whether he is speaking to a lover or to himself. “It’s just the state I’m in. Am I too honest for you my love, do you take pleasure in giving up?” he sings during the track’s chorus. Submerged in heavy reverb, he pleads but also acknowledges.
As the EP’s third single rolls around, this mood quickly shifts to bitterness. Characterised by isolated beats, distracted ironically boasts the most groove out of the bunch. Cremean narrates a decline from a broken relationship spurred by jealousy, a complete shift of pace from lighter’s first half.
Finishing with the release’s house-flavoured, title track, the artist reminds us that mental health is never a straight line. Dark, brooding, the track boasts the wide spectrum of Cremean’s vocal range and sonic abilities. With every fuzzed-out beat, the artist casts aside the veil between studio and audience, speaking to a collective agony not often explored in music.
Featuring the talents of producers yes/no/maybe, NIK NAVY, and Jay Millionaires, THE GAZE has undeniably carved himself a place in the industry with this release.
Check out lighter below: