Ben Lasky adopted the moniker Quadeca during preschool recess, in the necessity to name a superhuman persona. At ten years old, Quadeca took on the heroic task that’d become the central focus of his multi-hyphenate creative career–writing and producing his own expressive style of music. He would go on to attract a cult-like following, where fans are prone to analyze his work and discuss it communally. Quadeca’s first forays into concept albums, Voice Memos and From Me To You, both made impressive debuts across streaming platforms for an independent musician. Lasky responded by shifting the focus of Quadeca towards achieving greatness in his LP’s craftsmanship, and away from the virality of his premier platform, YouTube, where his subscribership was nearing two million.
The release of the spectral and impressionistic “I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You” album signified a watershed moment for Lasky. The credits tout contributions from Danny Brown and others, mastering at Abbey Road, but simultaneously stands as the biggest statement-piece of his creative independence: A fully self-produced opus with an accompanying film that has landed him newfound levels of acclaim from music fans and critics alike.. The reception stirred widespread internet discourse about the validity of multi-media creators evolving in the internet age, which culminated towards a short series of analytical videos from critic Anthony Fantano who named the album’s lead single “Born Yesterday” as the 7th best song of 2022. Now, Quadeca’s vision is focused straight ahead, onto the next opus that stands tall outside of its zeitgeist context.
The new quickly, quickly EP finds Portland, Oregon’s Graham Jonson back in his home studio, engrossed in ‘60s psychedelic soul music, imagining some bygone era where it was all about the drum sounds and tape decay. He calls it Easy Listening; the songs are short and inviting, modest yet loaded with ideas. Each started with the drum part, a loose grid for Jonson to paint his idiosyncratic psych-pop across, again playing nearly every instrument. The set follows his 2021 LP, The Long And The Short of It, the 22-year-old musician’s debut on Ghostly International, a coming-of-age jump from the chill beats-oriented corners of the internet to a full-fledged songwriting project with hi-fi sophistication. The moment culminated with Pitchfork’s Rising profile, “quickly, quickly’s Technicolor Pop Bursts Beyond the Algorithm,” and kickstarted the formation of his 6-piece live band for a run of exploratory shows along the west coast. But as the tangible demands for his music pulled him outward and some growing pains in his personal life ensued, Jonson focused his energy back inside; to the comforts of home recording, filling his space with more gear and sessions with friends. Maybe a bit of a droll title for a hard time, Easy Listening briefly pauses for air, offering five of his breeziest basement jams for public enjoyment.