Evan Casas’ 14-song digitally released CD is an interesting ride, to say the least. The songs were written between 2007 and 2010, but only released now. He has other musicians chiming in on the mix, but mostly on just one song, which is a John Lennon song anyway.

I have to admit, I was pretty amused right away from the beginning of the CD. The songs are all different, many are very short and to the point, but all have a distinct character and most are humorous. He is pretty right on with his description on Bandcamp for his music “Indie, Electronic, experimental, hip hop, humor.”

He is consistent in his cool and hooky electronic beats, which grab you from the very first song, “Life Is Problematic,” a 56-second number in which the listener is introduced to his quirky humor, with no singing melody, just a voice talking like he was talking to a friend about the events of any day.

The second track, “Sunshine on My Face,” is all of 17 seconds long, and is kind of the antithesis to the first song, in lyrical content and composition as well, no electronic beats, just acoustic guitar and one line “Sunshine on my face, makes me happy today.”

“Love” is a cover of a John Lennon song and it is well done with friends Stu Mahan on the bass and glockenspiel, Eric Ambrose on keyboard and Sam Yawdik on drums. About halfway through the song, Casas’ electronic beats kick in and change the dynamics a bit. It is almost like two different songs at that point, but still palatable and compelling.

Credit needs to be given to Elijah Ocean as well for his guitar work in “Fall Asleep,” which kind of sounds like a Beatle song at a carnival that went all wrong, but in a good way.

“Be With Me” is a bit silly, funky and groovy, with an Alvin and the Chipmunks voice coupled with Barry White on LSD.

“Naughty Dotty” and “I Drank It Down” are both laid back, catchy tunes, ones I would like to be listening to at a swanky club downtown, where everyone is on the dance floor, bouncing and grinding in the same flow to the infectious beat.

Suffice it to say, I came out of listening to this compilation laughing, enjoying some very tasty electronic beats and catchy melodies — and wondering who this guy was and what exactly made him tick. It’s quite enigmatic, really, but in a facetious way.

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a Portland freelance writer.


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