WRITTEN BY: Caitlin McGeehan
This past Monday, singer-songwriter Chaz Cardigan had a virtual press conference to dive into his EP, Holograma, that was released on Thursday, October 22nd.
The eight-track EP is Cardigan’s second release this year as the first jointly signed artist under both Capitol Records and Loud Robot. The Vulnerabilia EP was released in February, and helped evolve the “light and hooky sound” with “swimmy guitars” throughout Holograma, as the singer described it.
Listeners can feel the emotions of the EP so clearly and translate these songs to fit their lives. The overall goal of Holograma, according to Cardigan himself is to let people feel and indulge in their feelings, after all.
The lead single, “Room” is the perfect example of the vulnerability the Kentucky native aims to convey and have listeners fall into throughout his music. This track describes the bedroom of the first person he was in love with, mentioning the patterns on the sheets and the old cell phones in the drawer. He articulated “Room” and feeling these emotions for a person for the first time as “warm.”
Nostalgia is a key feeling throughout Holograma, but with a “healthy distance,” Cardigan noted, it’s “reliving, but not staying stuck in the past.” Combined with the inspiration of songs he wishes he’d heard as a teen, influences like The Goo Goo Dolls, Lana Del Rey, and The Killers, and his lyrics recounting his first love, the nostalgia truly kicks in. While tracks like “Room” are looking a while back into Cardigan’s past, overall, Holograma recounts his more recent whirlwind of change. A record deal, his song “As I’ll Ever Be” being placed in the hit Netflix film, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and new relationship dynamics throughout his life manifest in the overall EP theme of “flipping perspectives.”
Cardigan has faced change before. At 17 he moved to Nashville to begin pursuing music, but found that the alternative music scene was not thriving. In order to make a living, he re-directed his musicality towards producing rap music and playing bass in a rock band. His production experience began when he was 12, when he was sure he wanted to dedicate his life to making music. The idea stuck with him that if he was going to make it as a musician, he would have to know how to do it all: write, produce, sing, and play instruments. His relationship with writing and that with producing are synonymous. Cardigan produced all of his past releases, and became more comfortable delegating the production role to other producers for Holograma, save for the personal “Jesus Christ I’m Lonely.”
In case you were wondering, the Holograma song that Cardigan feels would give immunity during a zombie apocalypse is “Change Your Mind” due to the amount of musical tension and release. He actually had this in mind while writing the song!
The main takeaway from the press conference was one word: authenticity. Chaz Cardigan wants people to know that he means it– every lyric, chord, and performance. He cherishes the connection he creates through his music and how listeners relate his music to their lives. And what more can a fan ask for?
Header photo by Joelle Grace