Theodore Cale Schafer
Students Of Decay
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SOD133LP / Includes Download Code
Edition of 300 copies
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1It's A Mistake To Wait 5:15
2Best Friend 5:17
3Bloodletter 2:01
4Luck 6:02
5Never-Never 4:09
6Tristan 4:29
7Mansfield 3:48
8See You Soon 5:12

The second album in a planned trilogy for Students of Decay, Theodore Cale Schafer’s “Trust” follows 2019’s “Patience,” building upon its motifs and compositional strategies to arrive at a potent document of artistic and personal growth. Recorded between 2020 and 2022, a period in which Schafer relocated to New York City, these arrangements feel like they bear the mark of a change in scale, not abandoning the private, diaristic sensibility of his earlier work so much as imbuing it with a charged atmosphere of vivid, slow-blooming intensity. These songs find the artist tightrope-walking between drama and austerity, narrative and abstraction. Such is the case on both “Luck,” in which a captivating wash of baroque strings slowly recedes into a bed of inky, flickering ambience, and “Best Friend,” wherein snatches of conversation are halted by entrancing piano motifs and hovering drones. This is an album that develops aspects of Schafer’s previous output– the patiently meted out, barely-there piano melodies, the unexpected resonance of off-the-cuff location recordings– working them like raw materials into robust, lyrical compositions. At times almost drifting into the romantic realm of the orchestral, “Trust” is the most generous and expansive offering we’ve heard from Schafer in his young career.

Theodore Cale Schafer (b. 1994) is a musician based in New York City. Informed by his occupation as an audio engineer, his work combines digitally sourced audio and manipulated self-recordings to create music that is equally influenced by Playstation OSTs, modern classical composition, confessional narrative, and spoken word. Recently, he has collaborated with Natalia Panzer, Angelo Harmsworth, Claire Rousay, Sydney Spann, and picnic, participated in the Neo-Pastiche: Changes in American Music Festival at the Black Mountain College Museum, and curated the “Casualism” mix series with Retreat Radio in Malmö, Sweden.