With an uncanny ability to glow in the darkest of environments, Casey Desmond has always been one of Boston's brightest electronic music talents. Her 2012 album Deja Vu felt like both a beginning and an end for the former Voice contestant, a pop-polished explosion of sound and color that would have taken over Top 40 radio in an alternate universe where merit reigns over focus groups and play-safe suits.
This week, Desmond returns with a new project and a much darker vibe. Under the moniker CMB (short for Cosmic Microwave Background), her seven-track EP Three Licks ventures musically into experimental territory, where the sure-handed 10 p.m. flash of the strobe light is replaced by the pre-morning world of uncertainty and manic complexity. Led by magnetic single "I Didn't Know", which we've been bumping on the regular on VanyaRadio, Three Licks is a rabbit hole of raw emotion and textured synth-pop.
"These songs are my heart," Desmond says. "They are my pain, and my pleasure, and I'm really excited to send them off."
The real draw of Three Licks is Desmond's approach of ignoring any lure of commercialism, showing off a deeper side of her creative self and pulling from a pool of influences that include Animal Collective, Grimes, Black Moth Super Rainbow, and Yeasayer. From the pulsating throb of "Rubber Jungle" to the glitchy, spiraling new wave of "Fade Into Nothing", Three Licks opens a new portal into Desmond's most personal creative depths. The light will show the way.
Listen to Three Licks via the CMB Bandcamp below, and check out the "I Didn't Know" video and EP artwork after the embed.