Boasting a well-nurtured sound, the Fourth Wall EP, four years since debut Introspect EP, has all the makings of a seminal, career-defining work.
The Bristolian’s songs feel anthemic and effortlessly powerful, but up close they are intimate and mechanically precise. Each song is mixed immaculately; trademark glassy square-wave synths and mellifluous Foley sounds create a cavernous void into which Causon sings his consciousness.
Causon creates a brilliant balance between electronic elements and rough recordings, with lively, characterful synth embellishments and bashful piano motifs acting as a glue between the fitful passages of each track. The artist takes a scholarly approach to his beat choices, smattering hints of complex time and swing all across the record. A striking example of this being the phased kick-snare pattern in ‘Extended Present’, the pulse seemingly changing on each rotation and disorientating the listener in an exciting way. Amongst all of these pointillistic musical intricacies, however, the project never for a moment loses concentration or pace, the confident beats driving each track on with the urgency of more conventional dance music.
Every sound is of paramount importance. No synth selection or curious percussive recording is left behind. You can hear Causon having fun with this idea in ‘Off Kilter’, diving into a foreign key and fresh, swung beat upon the utterance of the title-lyric, injecting a playfulness and poeticism to the opening track.
The lyrical content is cerebral, ranging anywhere from the topic of space and time to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and while in places the subject matter can feel intense, it harmonises brilliantly with the deliberate, intellectual sound that he creates. In places, the singer displays beautiful vocal sensitivity, especially in the surprisingly folk-reminiscent cri de cœur of ‘Half-Hour Verve’, where he sings with such dogmatic sincerity that the words could just as well have been a shopping list and you'd be shaken all the same. These rousing moments, paired with the snappy hooks of ‘Fourth Wall’, and the confrontational, vernacular verses of ‘Blind-Eye’, also paint a fine picture of Causon’s vocal range.
The EP feels assured and complete; it’s the product of the emerging singer’s truly individualistic approach to musical artistry. Having supported popular acts such as Loyle Carner and Maribou State, it certainly feels like the beginning of something really good for Causon – something that we can hopefully see continue at Electrowerkz, London 22.09.20.