Broke For Free – Budding

A few months ago, we shared a great video for "Like Swimming" from Broke For Free, the alias of Tom Cascino. He's got a new EP out, and I'm really digging the lead track "Budding."

Broke For Free is an instrumental project that slots comfortably into the place where electronic music, hip-hop, and indie rock meet. The music is atmospheric, it has a rhythm and emphasis on the beat that will get your head nodding, and agile, catchy guitar lines flit in the mix. The latter element is particularly relevant on the recently released Gold Can Stay EP, as it finds Tom collaborating with Mark Edwards, who sent layered guitar harmonies around which Tom quickly crafted soundscapes. I guessed that the title of "942" was a reference to the number of miles that separate Tom in Oakland, California from Mark in Vancouver, Canada and Google Maps reveals I'm right.

These four tracks are a great sonic journey, and I found myself quickly engrossed. "Budding," which kicks off the set, seems like an apt title for how the song embodies the moments of something coming into focus, into bloom. It feels like a good song for mid-December because it transports you to a time and place of more warmth and possibility. The guitar lines glow and echo over a strong drum pattern, and I love that you can imagine someone rapping over it or joyously yelping out an indie-pop tune. Those 942 miles don't ever once feel prominent; the contributions of both artists feel seamless and almost destined for each other. We are in an era where long distance digital collaboration is no longer extraordinary, but even so, it's still impressive and enjoyable to hear this project.