When Mishko of the IXXI sent over Daniel Caesar‘s EP Birds of Paradise, I had no clue what to expect. What I got was ear porn in the form of Medulla Oblongata. But not tasteless, two-and-a-half-minute long Bang Bros type trash with a less -than-stellar money shot. No, Medulla is the kind of smut that’s so good you’ll hesitantly share it with the person you’re sleeping with while you linger in the place between satisfaction and shame. Or rather, lack thereof. With lyrics like “Baby let me fuck your mind/ I promise I’ll do it softly/ Afterwards we’ll buy cigarettes and coffee/ I swear, I swear that I have demons inside me” sung in Daniel’s sultry and defeated tone, its almost impossible to not catch feelings.
But I wasn’t aroused for long because Birds of Paradise completely jilted me. This is not a track you want to listen to if you’re broken. Or maybe it is. “Baby, I have to leave you for awhile/ My wardrobe’s looking pretty shabby/ Baby daddies and baby mamas have sexual karma.” Isn’t it like every film where the antagonist hero must leave his bleak and downtrodden surroundings to go do better? To go be better; to go find himself. And I found myself practically in tears on the streetcar.
The EP comes to a close with Scream. A scream is something shrill and jagged that lacks romance in every capacity but Daniel’s Scream (a cover of James Blake‘s) is the opposite of that. Its sweet and romantic. It can lull you into an easy sleep or be the soundtrack to some deep pondering.
I completely devoured Birds of Paradise.
The EP is produced by Matthew Burnett and Jordan Evans of the IXXI for the IXXI. Take a listen below, it’s highly recommended.