Filled to the brim with emotion and conflict, Chris Caulfield’s latest single, “Feelings,” is delightfully haunting in all the best ways.
Despite the wave of new musicians landing on the shores of 2022, Caulfield stands above the noise with introspective lyrics and evocative melodies, using engaging compositions as the basis for his tightly woven mix of alternative, emo rock , hip-hop, and more.
Playing in Toronto-area bands exposed Caulfield to the production side of music at a relatively early age – however, nothing was solid yet. He spent much of his 20s running his own businesses and raising a family, and while he may not have made the leap into music yet, he was constantly exposed to situations that would end by nourishing his writing.
Caulfield is no stranger to conflict. Struggling with chronic pain, mental health and a series of challenges and obstacles that stand between him and a successful music career, there has never been a shortage of inspiration for this emerging artist. Throw a global pandemic into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster – or success, in Caulfield’s case.
With the lockdown fully in effect, Caulfield set to work setting up a home studio. While his original intention at the start of the production process was to find a healthy coping mechanism, it eventually turned into something else. Within months, Caulfield had three singles with fleshed out release campaigns; he released ‘The Other Way’, ‘Gripped’ and ‘Wolves’, followed a week later by ‘Letdown’ which reached 10,000 streams in its first 30 days on Spotify.
With a full-scale production team, two independent labels based in Europe, an opportunity to write songs for TV and movies, and an artist development project with a Canadian independent label, nothing stood in the way of Caulfield.
Cue the release of Caulfield’s latest single, “Feelings”, which does a terrific job of creating a soundscape the listener can get lost in. It is easy for the listener to get lost in the complex sonic environment presented to them when taking their first listen.
The production of “Feelings” complements the timbre shifts of Caulfield’s vocal performance, creating powerful surges of energy and plunging the listener into the void. This roller coaster recreates the waves of emotions that come from emotional highs and lows, especially as our brain tries to check out high intensity situations.
“The brain can go into a ‘numb’ type state after periods of high intensity, such as an anxiety attack, traumatic experience, etc.,” Caulfield shares. “The result of the rush/crash acts as a protection mechanism; that’s what I wanted to recreate in the song.
“I found my first experience of numbness uncomfortable and, although short-lived, it was something that intrigued and worried me – a calm in the eye of the storm, but a feeling that you shouldn’t be here,” he added.
The depth Caulfield brought to the overall story of “Feelings” is breathtaking when you step back and listen deeply. The production complements the “rush/crash” feeling described by Caulfield. Listening to the lyrics, this hyperbole becomes evident.
“That kind of conflict associated with being ‘numbed’: trying to combine our brain’s protective efforts to become ‘numbed’ while feeling the intensity of a situation or pain. This shouldn’t not be masked or blurred, and I wanted to incorporate that into the song.
Caulfield provides a thought-provoking reference to this internal dilemma while reflecting on his choice of words.
“In addition to the heat, the fire burns the sky / And all I still hope is that the numbness dies”
“There’s a stillness in my mind / Deep inside me that I can’t feel”
“Feelings” is available now.