Currently residing in Fort Collins, Leah Casper is a singer/songwriter who recently released an EP entitled Big Deep Breath. The six-song EP displays a solid singer and well-crafted songs but it is far from perfect. Big Deep Breath is grounded in jazz and blues but also has some deviations, which were a bit perplexing.
Suffice it to say these songs didn’t get the proper treatment that they deserve. The first and most notable thing is the recording quality. There isn’t much clarity within any of the instruments or vocals, which end up making songs sound boxy and muddy. The other thing that would have benefited these songs is either fixing the minor but notable timing issues and sour notes in post-production or during the recording.
The album opens with one of the highlights entitled “Body and Soul” which revolves around the piano, drums and bass. Casper’s vocals are the key ingredient here, which hold down the fort. She sings about using adverse emotional states into something beneficial. She sings, “Not one tactile function or cheap thrill I can afford I've been trying to forge this same path on my own And the independent stubborn as bull.”
Casper doesn’t have as much success with the second track “Clouds.” A hypnotic electric piano creates a decent canvas that would have benefited from more dynamics. She gets back on track with a sparse piano ballad entitled “Down With You” which deals with the heavy topic of domestic violence.
“Modern Times” sounded out of place amongst the rest of the songs as it lies somewhere between pop and rock. The dismal recording quality was hard to get past. It often sounded chaotic when the guitar was in the mix. The EP closes with “Bring Me Home” which reverts to the jazzy/blues vibe.
Casper may have some talent but it feels largely held back. This is a clear case where I could see working with an experienced producer or engineer as a major benefit. If she can find someone to hone her skills she might be onto something.
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