Erik Kase Romero, a prominent figure in New Jersey’s music scene, has unveiled his debut full-length album, ‘how to be still & still be here‘. With a rich history as a recording engineer and producer, Romero has collaborated with renowned acts like The Front Bottoms, Gaslight Anthem, and even pop sensation Lorde. However, in the midst of his bustling career, he has dedicated time to his most personal endeavour yet – his solo project.
Released on January 12th, 2024, the album is a poignant reflection of Romero’s heavy-hearted psyche. Following a quietly released EP in ’22 and a string of well-received singles, this LP marks a significant leap forward in Romero’s journey as an artist. Songs like ‘susquehanna’, ‘honest’, and ‘still’ showcase his remarkable songwriting prowess, drawing from a diverse range of influences, including pop-punk energy, the warmth of country and folk, and the vulnerability of emo.
Romero’s sound is a tapestry of his New Jersey heritage, admiration for artists like Jackson Browne and Neil Young, and formal training in orchestral percussion. The album is characterised by shimmering acoustic guitars, poignant piano chords, and steady percussion, all woven together with dynamic lead electric guitars. Each track is draped in enchanting vocal melodies that evoke a warm blanket of nostalgia, providing a perfect backdrop for Romero’s introspective lyrics on self-exploration and the pursuit of authenticity amidst life’s challenges.
The lead single, ‘still’, stands out as a testament to Romero’s songwriting prowess, with its unyielding chord progression challenging his own creative boundaries. Lyrically, it delves into the complexities of personal and ancestral identity, embodying the struggle of being present in one’s own life. Meanwhile, ‘susquehanna’ serves as a nostalgic exploration of childhood memories and their impact on shaping identity and worldview.
Romero’s album resonates with listeners on a profound level, offering a transformative and healing experience. The introspective nature of the music aligns with the seasonal changes in New Jersey, making it a fitting soundtrack for self-reflection during the fall and winter months. As Romero unpacks his own life through these songs, he invites listeners to join him in the process of sorting through their own emotions and experiences. ‘how to be still & still be here‘ stands as a testament to Erik Kase Romero’s musical prowess and his ability to create a deeply personal, resonant work of art.