Daniel Caesar’s new work will likely earn him comparisons to some of his peers and predecessors. Listening to two songs off his forthcoming Pilgrim's Paradise EP—“Paradise,” which features BADBADNOTGOOD and Sean Leon, and “Death & Taxes”—I’ve thought about Glenn Lewis, Frank Ocean, and The Beach Boys. Mostly, though, I’ve thought about how warm his voice feels, alternating between registers and intonations, and couched in carefully textured layers and instrumentation. The Toronto singer-songwriter builds worlds that sound alluringly familiar, like physical manifestations of the real-life stories he’s telling. On “Paradise,” Caesar comes face-to-face with an inspired verse from rapper Sean Leon. When he sings, Don't forget you chose this life/ Welcome to your paradise, it’s like he’s singing for all of us.
"'Paradise' is really important to me. It's one of the more literal and direct songs I've ever written. I'm beginning to open up more about some of the more literal aspects of my life story in my songwriting," he told The FADER over email. As for "Death & Taxes," it "sets the stage for what I have to say, and the story I'm going to tell," he explained. "I live in the real world, I've lost my faith, I'm trying to find my way. I actually wrote the first version of this song years ago while I was still in high school, and kind of put it aside. It took on new meaning for me this time around and I was able to finish it."
Daniel Caesar's Pilgrim's Paradise EP is out November 12th. Listen to "Paradise" and "Death & Taxes" below, and pre-order the full project on iTunes here.