Casper Sage Frees His Mind on ‘Synthesis+’ [EP Review]

Preston Breck

Casper Sage is quickly becoming a must-know name in R&B. The Nashville creative has been steadily gaining traction in recent months for his smooth blend of R&B and soul with rock and hip-hop elements. Songs like “FML” and “is this real life?” helped establish Sage as an exciting voice in the genre, bridging warm, rich vocals with smooth, occasionally trippy instrumentation. After dropping “Flow State” in July, Sage has returned with his first project in over a year. 

Synthesis+ sees Sage taking things a step further. The EP is his most varied yet, infusing his mellow vocals with more vibrant, oftentimes psychedelic production. Standout track “U4EA” perfectly exemplifies Sage’s experimentation on this project as he dances over an upbeat rock instrumental similar to that of an old Tame Impala record. The song’s lyrics follow the same beat as Sage discusses reaching his own euphoria and feeling the “aura” of another person. “Cloud Freestyle” takes a different approach, offering an airy, mellow beat for Sage to rap about topics of clearing his mind and finding a new perspective. These tracks stretch across several genres, but they tie themselves together well through Sage’s smooth vocals and themes of clarity, peace, and mental relaxation.

The standout “Flow State” could very well be one of 2023’s best R&B songs. Unlike the EP’s previous tracks, this cut contains much more relaxed drums and guitar tones, heightened by Sage’s soothing, layered vocals. This song sees Sage looking for peace of mind and contentment in a world too easy to overthink. The instrumental of the track almost embodies this “flow state” that Sage is seeking, helping to in turn sooth the minds of listeners. The chorus is perfect, as well, with lines like “I want to flow like the water” beautifully expressing the song’s themes over an infinitely catchy melody. This is a defining track of sorts for Sage, the highlight of a multifaceted and layered EP. 

“Is this real life?” and “FML” help to wrap up the tracklist after the catchy and sensual “Brown Noise.” The two previously released songs once again highlight Sage’s sonic variation and wide-ranging appeal, helping to tie together a series of diverse tracks. Overall, Synthesis+ is a beautiful listen. Casper Sage has found his definitive sound on this EP, showcasing immense potential to become a mainstay in the world of alternative R&B.

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