Originally released in 2020 on cassette and digitally. more eaze is the nom de plume of Austin, TX mainstay m.maurice, a roving experimentalist who’s explored an astoundingly diverse range of sounds, from drone and computer music to avant-pop and beyond. claire rousay is a San Antonio, TX-based percussionist/composer/sound artist who uses physical objects and their potential sounds as a way to explore queerness, human physicality, and self perception. Together—through a suite of deeply personal aural collages—two of Texas’ most vital and vibrant sonic searchers beg the eternal question: If I Don't Let Myself Be Happy Now Then When?
Although only their debut album together, If I Don’t Let Myself… reveals a profound and fruitful relationship between m and claire. But the symphonic symbiosis goes even deeper still. Outside of musical breakthroughs, the pair helped each other conquer intensely personal changes, with m and claire transitioning and coming out as non-binary and trans, respectively.
As m explains, “to me this record is very much about this process of becoming—trying to reach something and getting there but sometimes not being quite where you want to be but at least getting closer. It’s about feeling alternately empowered and insecure socially as you transition and trying to cope with these conflicting emotions.”
Musically, the album showcases startlingly sincere sets of serrated but sedative situational music. A-side epic Drunk is a sprawling but taut rove of aural duality. Passages of exquisite elegance subtly clash with shimmering shards of sound. Pre-op is a poised and pensive piece of solemn reflection, harrowingly honest and delivered with clarity and composure, while Post-op closes out the set in a wholly uplifting and optimistic flair.
If I Don't Let Myself Be Happy Now Then When? is ultimately about coping during the respective transitioning phase in both of their lives, obliquely blissful and fraught with freedom.