We’ve been waiting for this moment since the release of his singles “Mild Sanity (feat. Juletta)” and “Sea of Things.” Now, Montreal-based artist Edwin Raphael has finally released his new EP, Staring at Ceilings. This five-piece EP will take you on a journey, showing the way from despair to self-acceptance and happiness.
Edwin released a pair of EPs—Ocean Walk in 2015 and Cold Nights in 2017. Then, his debut LP Will You Think of Me Later? came out in 2019. Now, the Staring at Ceilings EP gives fans a look at what he's been up to and the emotional process that led him to create this collection filled with raw lyricism and serene production.
Raphael shared an accompanying track-by-track breakdown to help fans better understand him and his musical process. Read below to hear what he had to say.
“Time to Sink”
Difficult to write about this song as it’s probably one of the darkest but honest songs I’ve written. This came from a place of hopelessness and bitterness at oneself. However the song also reflects an openness to see it for what it is. It’s a void you’ve been avoiding, it’s an answer you always knew but were scared to dive into. ‘Time to Sink’ is really a tipping point of finally looking under the veil that was most obvious. In many ways I’m glad I wrote this song, I signify it as a moment in time that’s very important to me. I think there’s a lovely and beautiful weightlessness to that last second you feel before hitting the water in a dive, I think this song encapsulates that split second.
“Sea of Things”
This song heavily reflects a spectrum of human indulgence, be that with love, life’s anxieties and addictions. I think being influenced by artists like Nick Drake, Ben Howard, John Mayer were pivotal for me to have a sort of foundation for my sound. Producing this song was a bit of a challenge to hone in on really feeling underwater, I also essentially looped the main guitar to portray the vicious cycle of anxiety with constant additions to reflect & parallel the textures of the sea and the abstract nature of feeling underwater.
“Mild Sanity (ft. Juletta)”
As with every new day, the earth revolves the same, you live things a little like yesterday, you leave a little space for the hopes of something riveting but it’s rare. But every so often you stumble upon that day where everything is nothing like you knew before. You see colors you’ve never seen before; you stare at the same ceiling but it gives you an entire cosmos today.
“Staring at Ceilings”
‘Staring at Ceilings’ the title track of the EP is perhaps the most important song on the EP as it brings you to complete consciousness that you have indeed been going through all these feelings and notions in your head and it’s just you, alone in the end. It brings you back to the ceiling you have been staring at and gives you the grand feeling of relief that the other songs were always bringing you here, the present.
‘The After’ is that first breath you take after having spent a considerable amount of time underwater. It’s a sigh of relief. The outro to the EP signifies that whatever the anxieties and troubles of life, you will inevitably be brought back to shore, you will not lose yourself or sink at sea but find yourself at shore. It’s just a cycle as it turns out. The human mind is capable of sinking to the bottom of the sea and still make it out under the sun.