Casey MQ

Later That Day, The Day Before, Or The Day Before That

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"Remembering is not the opposite of forgetting," Casey MQ sings at the start of Later that day, the day before, or the day before that, his new LP and Ghostly International debut. It's a phrase fittingly misremembered from something the LA-based, Canadian-born composer came upon as he spiraled into unconscious and subconscious-led writing sessions at the piano. Casey’s known for his 2020 breakthrough release babycasey, which gave voice to songs seen through the lens of childhood, various film score work and collaborations with artists such as Oklou (who returns here), Eartheater, and Vagabon. His gifts as a producer and songwriter are rooted in textural world-building and the excavation of personal truth. With Later that day... he questions what is true entirely, understanding our mind's tendency to bend and project onto pictures of the past. Across vivid, baroque pop balladry, Casey MQ reorients his recording project and point of view under the notion that memories are malleable. All the joy, pain, love, and loss housed within remembrance is open to interpretation and deconstruction, which he does deftly, with curiosity and complete artistic freedom.

"It's a memory album," Casey puts it simply, winding up for the deeper unpacking, "and it might be a breakup album, too...there are more questions than answers." Engaging his dreams and sitting with sheet music at his newly acquired piano, he looked to new and old inspirations including the works of Claude Debussy, Joni Mitchell, and Joe Hisaishi's beloved Studio Ghibli film scores. "Since I was young, I always wanted to write a piano album." babycasey's studied electronic sound isn't wholly abandoned on Later that day... instead, it comes through like an atmosphere, giving Casey's more spacious, minimal arrangements a distinct luster and sheen. The textures and tones shift from song to song as if mirroring the way our minds constantly recontextualize, remember, and forget.

Cathartic opener "Grey Gardens" — its title derived from a dream abstractly related to the Toronto restaurant, but not the 1975 film, which he cites as another coincidental false memory — presents the record's plaintive, haunted feeling. "Even if not reading into lyrics, sonically I wanted it to feel like you're being pulled into a universe. Not fantasy or otherworldly per se, something more tangible, of the body and mind,” Casey says. “Hearing it back, I realized this track was the key to unlocking it." His tender falsetto hovers above ambient washes and echoed keys, each word falling carefully in the crevices. "Asleep At The Wheel" unfolds on arpeggiated synth before a burst of symphonic color; the synth returns inverted to harmonize with the outro, "I love a car crash, I love a story, I love a memory, I swear it's real..."

Casey leans into digital imagination on the warm, introspective "Me I Think I Found It." Subdued, stuttered percussion underscores the singer as he cycles through pixelated imagery — screenshots, smiles, streetlights — searching for higher meaning through love. Built on ascendent chord distortions, "Dying Til I'm Born" gives the record one of its boldest pulses of emotion. The back half stretches out; "Is This Only Water" is sparse and foggy, "Baby Voice" is intimate and desperate for something to remain. "Words For Love" grooves on guitar, and "Tennisman9" aches in heartbreak. French musician Marylou Mayniel, aka Oklou, appears as the collection’s only guest for the closing duet, "The Make Believe," a bright and buoyant send-off that gives Later that day... both a sense of resolve and cyclical-motion. "We are young, under the sun," they sing together, a parting image brimming with lightness.


01. Grey Gardens
02. Asleep At The Wheel
03. Me, I Think I Found It
04. Dying 'Til I'm Born
05. Is This Only Water
06. See You Later
07. Baby Voice
08. Words For Love
09 Tennisman9
10. The Make Believe (feat. Oklou)

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