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Desmond Myers

How to Break a Heart 

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The New EP. June 5th. 

Ever onward: navigating parenthood, the spotify algorithm and career changes. The independent singer-songwriter found solace in uncompromising vision. 

In an era where independent artists are encouraged to put their most passive, streamable work forward to appease the oppressive Spotify algorithm, Desmond opted to follow up his most successful release to date with a four and a half minute torch bearing epic sans drums until well into the 2 minute mark. The song is visceral and personal detailing an existential crisis of self that too many can relate to. But “Take a Bow”, the first single Desmond released for his follow up to late 2021’s “Shadowdancer” was not so much about quitting as it was about moving on. 

 

The New EP from Desmond Myers “How to Break a Heart” is the culmination of a lot perseverance and hard work. The five tracks which have been waterfall released since November 2023 finally emerge fully formed on June 5th. It’s part one of two parts with this collection of tracks being the most personal and experimental releases Desmond has put out to date. 

 

“Take a Bow” was Desmond’s line in the sand musically and saw him stretching his influences to experiment with writing a sprawling ballad. Inspired by Queen, Weyes Blood, Perfume Genius, Rufus Wainwright all artists who’s music include huge arcs that rise, fall and crash, putting such a song out as the lead single to his follow up from 2021’s “Shadowdancer” was no an obvious choice. The context for this was a departure from his Paris based label LVCO whom he collaborated with on Shadowdancer. Desmond had spent the past few years focusing on building himself up in the Parisian music scene, with a headline release show at La Maroquinerie and being selected to represent Île-de-France in the 2021 Printemps des Bourges all roads seemed to point to a return to Paris for the Atlanta based singer. 

 

But in the midst of releasing his debut album, a global pandemic’s ripple effects were taking a toll on the tables vision of an intercontinental career. Desmond had also chosen to start a family. In the end being stretched between two worlds and learning the ropes of parenthood was too much and so the singer decided to settle in and buckle down in the rich music scene of Atlanta, which he had called home since 2019. He formed a new band with Rhett Huffmann (American Aquarium, Baby Rose) and Cole McSween (The Shadowboxers) and Jake Dane (Kate Skene, Kat Hall) on bass. In early 2023 the gathered at 1971 sounds under the watchful eye of GRAMMY award winning engineer Todd Lyons to record a set of basic tracks live with the band. These tracks formed the basis for his new releases. 

 

Desmond then took these tracks to Nashville where he employed Louis Johnson (LONAS, Mackenzie Porter, Birdtalker) and Reed Berin (GAYLE) to carve out a lush and rich sound on the tracks “How to Break a Heart” and “Take a Bow” 

 

“How to Break a Heart, produced by Atlanta based producer Justin Cho, was Desmond’s marriage of the two worlds he had built. Written after a cathartic trip to the Florida coast the song is heavily inspired by the Beach Boys and alludes to the more R&B infused groove’s of “Shadowdancer” with a nod to The Beach Boys. The EP’s title track, it’s the perfect synthesis of the albums mood and theme: the only way you can get your heart broken is having something to lose. Whether it’s a family a career any aspiration runs the risk of not being attained. But you have to get back up and try again. 

 

“Sounding the Alarm” is the most hard hitting track on the EP. A more confrontational and direct approach highlights the uppercut of the instrumental which grows into snarling intensity. As Desmond narrates a battle with self doubt in a fickle industry “barely have the headspace to finish this song”, the song is beautiful but dark and has the most impressive instrumental feats on the album. Cole McSweens drums and Jake Dane’s bass are in rare form as they duel in a way that sounds like if James Blake produced Led Zeppelin. 

 

The remaining two tracks, “Comfort Zone” (also produced by Cho)  and “Theresa” (self produced by Desmond) take a more acoustic approach with the former being a sultry piano ballad with an ominous edge about taking the plunge with someone you love. It’s intimate and romantic but with an eerie edge that keeps it just shy of being saccharine. 

 

“Theresa”, a departure from the crisp polished studio sound of the other cuts on the record, was recorded onto 4 track cassette. It’s got a sun-baked lo-fi aesthetic with whispery vocals who tell a sensual and romantic story about a mysterious figure known as Theresa. The cryptic verses detailing the vaguest outline of Theresa’s life give way to a confessional chorus, “Theresa, I’m dying to keep you a secret, I’m feigning amnesia Theresa” before closing the album with a kaleidoscopic psychedelic synth liftoff. Perfect for tripping in the park. Clocking in under two minutes it’s a sweet little goodbye after some of the intense moments proceeding it. 

 

“How to Break a Heart” is part one of two EP’s planned for 2024 with the later half releasing in November. The record releases June 5th with a release party at the Grammy award winning studio 1971 sounds in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. 

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