Caesar recorded Acoustic Break in Toronto's Dream House Studios with the help of a small, effective band -- Ian Culley on guitar, Matthew Burnett on piano, and Brandon Horniachek on drums. In this setting, songs from his previous release -- which contained lots of samples and thick, impressively-layered textures -- take on different meanings. "Pseudo," for example, originally appeared with huge drums and a screaming electric guitar, but here it's reborn as lovely singer-songwriter pop, fragile and moving.
Exclusive: Daniel Caesar Premieres 'Praise Break' EP, Talks Creative Process & 'Violet' Video
The spare accompaniment also adds amusing jolts of contrast to Caesar's music. On Praise Break, the track "Porn Star" had a grand, echo-y opening, but now that's stripped away, leaving behind a gently-strummed ballad. When Caesar sings, "porn stars, they love me in my dreams more than sexually," it's a funny statement -- not what you would expect from a song that verges on folk -- and also a remarkably intimate one. Returning to old songs gives Caesar a chance to show a new side of his artistry.