LA-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist Imaad Wasif tapped into a new side of himself at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While in isolation, he was in the perfect position to experiment with his recording style, able to do so whenever and however he pleased. This new process allowed him to discover that he was better off recording music around his vocals instead of the other way around. With this approach, he was able to make songs that were more open and organic, the need for instruments other than his voice not so strong. In the end, Imaad created ten tracks that would become his sixth solo album, So Long Mr. Fear. The album is due out in a few weeks, so to get us better acquainted with the project, Imaad is releasing its first single, “Fader.”
A sweeping piano ballad rounded out with moaning guitar and soft percussion, “Fader” is an intimate reflection on purpose. Using simple melodies, Imaad questions his worth and the path he is taking, making references to time and ancient curses. A light is found in the darkness, however, with the lines “If I die next to you there would be no defeat / Only glory that would shine down on me.” With light vocals from Jen Wood (The Postal Service, Tattle Tale), the track is complete. You can check it out below.
Giving us more details about the album, Imaad explains,
“The songs are laid bare for the taking and I can’t walk away. To be intimate with an audience is perhaps the greatest conflict I’ve encountered in my work; on one hand, wanting the connection, but at the same time shying away from ever allowing myself to getting too close, for fear that some great mystery would be dispelled. In the end though, here we are again, alone together in this music.”
Overall, So Long Mr. Fear is mostly acoustic, emphasizing Imaad’s voice and lyrics. It was produced by
Bobb Bruno (Best Coast) and mixed by Lewis Pesacov (Nikki Lane, FIDLAR, Local Natives). Guest vocals are provided by the previously mentioned Jen Wood, as well as Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs). The album will be released on August 9 via Sonic Ritual. You can pre-order it here.
You can listen to “Fader” on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.