Cusp succeeds in the way that Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes do: creating songs that sound like concentrated moments of life rather than just pieces of art. There’s nothing artificial about Nothing Proper — only true beauty to relive in each passing song.
Rapp studies vocal performance at ACM@UCO, and it shows. His voice registers somewhere between Andrew Bird and M. Ward, but at the same time, it’s one in its own.
The opener, “Shivers,” is a distillation of everything that makes Cusp as promising as it is, and the song is perfectly named, too. It might inspire a chill or two. “Sleeping Tree” — a pretty number that sounds like the work of someone far more seasoned — succeeds it. “Swarm” sees Rapp playing with woody and cavernous textures to a wonderful result, and “Enchanter” is built almost solely on a lovely banjo riff.
The songs would stand on their own, but the session players really bring a new life to the four-track EP, with locally known musicians David Broyles, Dustin Ragland, Steven Stark and Devin Donaldson all making stellar contributions.
It’s an easy, unassuming listen, one that you will want to play over and over again, all while whetting your appetite for what we hope is a full-length album not too far away. Download it at taylorrapp.bandcamp.com. —Joshua Boydston