By: Mark Ramzy
The events of 2020 have led most people to take a deep look inside and reflect on past mistakes, current situation, and future outlook. New York hip hop artist Caleb Giles is no exception. Although he’s still making waves mostly at the regional level, the young artist from the Bronx has already achieved a lot on his 4 albums to date.
On his 4th album, Meditations, which was released last Wednesday, we see the product of such reflections from Caleb Giles. Despite its fairly short runtime of 27 minutes, the album feels concise and complete rather than shallow and unfinished. Caleb has shown his introspective ability throughout his previous three projects, but on Meditations he takes his personal experiences and translates them into wisdom, sharing them in a way that feels relatable. One of the main messages Caleb spreads revolves around avoiding the loops we find ourselves stuck in throughout troubling times. As a result, the album’s main focus is on finding comfort within yourself in the present moment in spite of the world collapsing around you (hence the title: “Meditations”). The album’s relevance to current times can be frightening, but the message is not bound by circumstance. The world doesn’t have to be literally burning for you to feel like everything around you is crumbling. The acute awareness of the world’s decay – existential dread – can come from any one of myriad smaller disappointments in life – personal shortcomings, failed relationships, etc. On Meditations, Caleb conveys this through examples of his own personal growth. His soothing delivery, perfectly placed over the soulful production, tends to grant you comfort despite the grim realities the lyrics force you to confront. More importantly, they seem to provide him with a therapeutic experience as well, serving the often-forgotten purpose of creating art in the first place.
The final track, and probably my personal favorite on the album, Passage, begins and ends marvelously, perfectly concluding the album. On one of the first lines, Caleb raps “the sun is stuck but we seize the day”; the line sticks with you long after the music stops. It’s the idea of making the most out of what you have no matter the circumstance. It’s a simple statement, yet it overflows with beauty; an accurate and pithy summary of the album’s core philosophy. Caleb Giles is practicing what he preaches, and the proof is right there in the music for you to experience.
Check out Meditations by Caleb Giles, out now on all major streaming platforms. Purchase on Bandcamp to directly support the artist.