After two singles in 2021, Xavier Bernazard has now released their first EP “Anastasis.” With a 20-minute run-time and 5 tracks, Anastasis explores the idea of resurrection and reinvention. The Latinx singer-songwriter has really put their best work out there, as this EP was a pleasure to listen to.
Xavier Bernazard and their vocals really carry the whole EP. The music is subtle and succinct. The album feels like a performance piece – which really breaks down the ideas of identity and struggling with your mental health. It takes you on a journey from the very first song.
The first song, begins with this rock orchestral vibe with a real spotlight on the vocals. The guitar soon picks in with a riff, and it really juxtaposes these two emotions, which I thought was interesting and dynamic. Phoenix reminds early 2000s pop rock. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard Phoenix being adapted in a musical.
The second song is called Tenebris, and it’s an exploration of darkness. The song opens up with this beautiful guitar instrumental and segues into the vocals. Xavier Bernazard does a cool thing with the vocals where as the song progress the vocals start to have this narrative-singing element to it. The vocals also shift from the background to the foreground to really display this conflict within themselves. And it slowly increases in intensity.
Sea Song (I’m Not Okay) is not only an epiphany, but also a declaration of accepting things the way they are. Released earlier in 2021, the song has a calming-seascape vibe. It is honest and introspective, and I really appreciate the beautiful sea imagery.
Break my heart, the fourth song, is the ultimate trump card that will surprise you at every turn it takes. It’s a story that traverses heartbreak as Xavier Bernazard explores all the songs a loved one sang to them. As someone who was expecting a breakup song, listening to Break my heart transition into verses from songs like Dancing in the Moonlight and Gravity was a real kick in the gut. I love how the song incorporated a fun, musical Easter Egg. This song is the crux of the whole album, and it really pushed the theatrical-narrative feel.
The last song sums up the rising action the album stands for. Aptly named Don’t Runaway, the song is a passionate and intensifying pop-rock ballad. Xavier Bernazard really ties the whole album together with the final song. An absolute pleasure to listen to and explore “Anastasis” should be on your must-listen list.