The enigmatic cover art to the maxi-E.P. Walden by Sway Casey reflects the inner mind and magically indistinct music the East Coast pop/rap/hip-hop artist unveils. Starting with “Contentment” Sway is gliding on sweet keyboards “waiting for the sun to come up, waiting for you to be mine,” in a happy-go-lucky medium that shifts into the second track, “Moonbeams” – featuring Mossh. Two minutes and forty-five seconds seemingly channeling Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Transcendentalism, the guitar line merging with the keys a la The Doors’ Morrison Hotel tune, “The Spy.”
“Macchu Picchu” has a heavy beat holding down the thoughts that roll out as if speaking in tongues, advice, and perspectives twirling in multiple motions. It drives the ideas like a master juggler keeping the audience’s eye intentionally off the ball. A creative platform, which stands alone just fine, but also acting as a bridge between the neo-spirituality of “Moonbeams” and the next tune, “Positivity.” That fourth selection, with a keyboard as elegant as the first track – and the place it paints – continues the theme and is equally content as Sway notes: “the world’s crazier than what I thought it is, so I always keep my attitude positive.” ”Selfishness” is another one-word title on Walden(something David Byrne and the Talking Heads employed across an album,) this with electronic vinyl record scratches, quickly spinning introspection featuring a strong melodic sermon, hypnotic instrumentation, and strains of backing vocals that make for an eerie yet thought-provoking piece.
Akira’s production is solid throughout and the bonus track, “Summer Trippin’,” is a treat evoking Sly and the Family Stone’s attitude and a gift of something fun for the sunny months. Mixed and mastered by executive producers James Mendillo (JTM) and Will Beale with artwork by Matypus, Walden has lots to offer, and something refreshingly different uncovered with each repeated spin.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.