Singer/songwriter Jasper Sloan Yip has announced his forthcoming double EP, Strange Calm/Blushing Autumn; two separate EPs. The albums were written and recorded at different times with various producers. Ahead of the release, Yip is sharing the first two tracks from the double EP, “Gin Fizz”, which is accompanied by a video from director Lester Lyons-Hookham.
When he set out to record Strange Calm in early 2020, Yip was trying to say goodbye. “I was dealing with a lot of climate dread, and at the same time, I could feel my musical life being pulled apart by different but equally powerful forces,” says Yip. “The songs on Strange Calm reflected these anxieties, and somehow helped me make peace with them too. It’s a meditation on learning to live with the death process.”
Just as the recording session for Strange Calm wrapped, the pandemic had reached the shores of B.C. By the summer, Yip decided to record a second short collection of songs to release with Strange Calm, a decision that coincided with the start of a new chapter in his life: fatherhood. “I committed myself to recording more music, booking time at the studio before writing a single song. Almost immediately after doing that I learned that I was going to be a dad.” The result is the second EP, Blushing Autumn.
The catalyst for “Gin Fizz” arrived for Yip while on a beach during his honeymoon. “We arrived on a grey and wet day and spent the afternoon avoiding flash storms in beach bars. Towards the evening the weather cleared, and we sat drinking on the beach just taking it in. The last drink she ordered was a Gin Fizz. Up to that point in the trip, I had been unable to leave my anxieties behind. I’d been fretting about all of it: money, work, music, family – you name it – until we landed on the beach. The island was strangely empty and the weather was terrible, but none of that mattered. I felt light and free in a way that had eluded me for a long time. It’s a rare thing to feel that kind of happiness, the kind that you know you’ll remember acutely, long after it has passed. But that was one of those days.”
“Halcyon Dream” is a song about “endings, big and small; a lament for my 20s and our carbonized atmosphere,” says Yip. “It looks backwards and wonders if the past was as lovely as you remember it, while quietly acknowledging that it probably wasn’t.”
The song arrived fairly quickly, after a writing inspiration exchange with Yip’s good friend Wallgrin. “They came over on a rainy weekend afternoon and we sat side by side at my piano and traded ideas for a few hours. From there we started sharing voice memo ideas with each other on a regular basis, and in a way, it gave me a reason to start writing again. I’ve always made music out of an urge to feel closer to other people, and in this case, I suppose I started writing again to feel closer to them.
One morning soon after, I sat at my piano and wrote the chords for ‘Halcyon Dream’ and the opening lines appeared; ‘Where to begin? / It’s all starting to end’. I sent it to Wallgrin and finished the lyrics quickly while texting with them at the piano. It happened so fast, I suppose it had been there for a while.”
01 Halcyon Dream
02 Gin Fizz
03 Strange Calm
04 Silver Lining
06 On The Beach
01 Blushing Autumn
04 Every Night, Beside You, I Lie Awake
Purchase/stream “Gin Fizz” by Jasper Sloan Yip HERE
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