Daniel Caesar: Freudian

Canadian musician and vocalist Daniel Caesar finally blessed us with a full-fledged album, Freudian. Miracles do exist!!

Just released, Freudian is a 10-track-long piece of divine music. Caesar, first caught my eye with his EP, Praise Break (2014), with songs like Violet, Pseudo and We’ll always have Paris. And then again when he released Pilgrim’s Paradise (2015), especially with the formidable Death and Taxes. But I was starting to despair that he will ever put out a new album. Until 2 days ago.

Now back, Caesar delivers another smooth and delicate record. He gave us a foretaste of this new project with We find love and Blessed back in June. And that was already too enticing. But having now listened to the whole album, it is clear that it was worth the wait. There is no other current musician, singer and songwriter that better captures and renders the essence of life, love, being a young adult and its meandering than him. Don’t be fooled by his young age or his demeanour. He is a very mature songwriter.

To my surprise Japanese Denim isn’t on this record. But rest assured: Get you is on it and it is the first track. The album counts 4 featurings. And what a delight to find out that they are all female singer-songwriters. The most known is Colombian-American artist Kali Uchis with whom he collaborated on Get you, which doesn’t need any introduction or any more praise. For Best Part he teamed up with r’n’b singer H.E.R., a regular to collaborations. And what a very pleasant surprise to find Odd Future’s Syd on Take me away. Their voices blend so well together. The only one I didn’t know was Canadian singer Charlotte Day Wilson, who is on Transforma very suited addition to the song. But at first, I could have swear it was Goapele singing.

On this record, he dissects one relationship and analysis how he felt during and in retrospect, but also how it went the way it went, while paying hommage to his love and the relationship they shared. Caesar recently revealed to Ebro Darden that « I am trying to figure myself out » through writing music. And we are witness to his evolution, musically and emotionally. He added that: « This whole album is like the arch from the inception to the death of just the most intense relationship of my life ».

On the eponym song, Freudian, Caesar introduces an organ which leads the whole song and gives us a peek at how church influenced his craft. On this album, the musician is loyal to his first sounds. He instills some choir and funk elements especially in Neu Roses (Transgressor’s Song), while the rest of the album has accents of soul, r’n’b and even some rock vibes. On Transform, you will even hear some hints of Violet. The song Get you really sets the tone for the whole album, which is pretty seamless. He gives us a breakdown of a relationship, pouring out his feelings as raw as he felt them while it lasted and after it ended.

I really appreciate the vulnerability that he displays in every song he presents to the world. He shares and embraces his vulnerabilities and we can all relate or at least grasp a sense of it through his lyrics and music. His songs are so well put and thought out that it really manifests upon listening to Freudian. This title itself is a testament to that. It is a very reflective while still very raw and honest album. Freudian conveys some nostalgia, grace, lucidity and a sense of blue at times but never indulges in sadness.

If you want to have a listen to Freudian, check this video.

Here is the tracklist:

  1. Get You (feat. Kali Uchis) (0:00)
  2. Best Part (feat. H.E.R.) (4:37)
  3. Hold Me Down (8:09)
  4. Neu Roses (Transgressor’s Song) (12:02)
  5. Loose (15:03)
  6. We Find Love (18:11)
  7. Blessed (22:26)
  8. Take Me Away (feat. Syd) (26:29)
  9. Transform (feat. Charlotte Day Wilson) (30:16)
  10. Freudian (34:57)

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