It is a hot summer night in New York City, too hot to sleep, and so your mind starts to wander. Then your body follows suit and you find yourself navigating the abandoned nervous system of streets and alleys usually filled with bustle and people brushing past one another. The silence is stark, but then you start to hear whispers of something familiar, perhaps a song you might know, seeping out of the corner of an intersection. Though the sound–maybe music?–gets closer and closer you can never find its source. Perhaps it’s your over-exhausted imagination playing tricks.
This is the precise image painted by Here Comes Brooklyn’s new Layer Cake EP. Musician Alex Tepper recorded the spectral EP mostly in the dead of night. While working on the show 3AM for Showtime, Tepper had to find odd hours in the dead of night to record, mixing tracks on 4:30 AM MegaBuses from New York to Washington D.C.. These late nights produced an earnest, sexy, and sometimes disquieting compilation of six songs that finds Tepper assessing his own compulsions and emotional needs under the veil of exhaustion, when you can be the hardest on yourself without the precision of your normal faculties.
Tepper expounds this idea: “Life is complicated and layer filled. You take the good with the bad and as long as I grit my teeth and do what I love to do–make music, tell stories, and be around those I love–I can learn to change with the world and find steady footing on uneven ground.”
My favorite out-of-context quote from this EP occurs on the the final track “moon”: “Hey wait, I am awake.” I like the idea that you had to exert mental energy to realize that a bizarre state of perception is not necessarily the result of a dream and is a revelation. That is precisely how this album feels.
Check out the EP above and make sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.