Brooklyn-based, Atlanta-born singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Blake Fusilier, who records as Fusilier, has announced a new EP Upstream, out on May 29 via Brassland (a label run by The National’s Bryce and Aaron Dessner). He’s also revealed the title track, which comes with a self-directed, iPhone-shot video from his apartment while under quarantine in Brooklyn. Although the mask Fusilier dons in the video is quite timely, it’s a concept he’s explored in his art for a while (the cover art for his 2018 EP Duty features a Shibori mask). He says of the video’s symbology, “Masks hide intent. Masks breed mystery. Mystery is a possibility.”
“Upstream” is a sweeping, minimal R&B-pop song led by awe-inspiring strings, and each delicate ripple of Fusilier’s voice uncovers a deep ache or triumph. It’s an elegant, dazzling and vulnerable work from an artist whose rich songwriting and sonic dynamism makes him an artist to watch.
“‘Upstream’ is ‘a song for the next day,’” Fusilier says. “I decided it’s okay to enjoy the taste of eggs in the morning, and to have nothing else to smile about. It’s okay to treat the streetlamp like the sun when you need light at 3am. I’ll find light.”
Listen to “Upstream” below, and preorder the EP here.