Scott Chasolen uses heartbreak as motivation on superb new album ‘Living in Limbo’
Nearly everyone has experienced some kind of loss in their lives. If it’s the loss of a partner, a job, a friend, family member, or even a favorite piece of clothing, it likely has a strong effect on you.
For New Jersey-based artist Scott Chasolen, he turned that loss into motivation to create one of his most personal and moving records to date.
On “Living in Limbo,” Chasolen claims the record came as a result of a personal break-up that left him reeling.
“I wrote this record while going through the most difficult phase of my life, losing my marriage and attempting to move forward from devastation,” he said. “It is incredibly personal and honest.”
Knowing that, you can’t help but tip your cap to the kind of mental resolve it must take to keep creating in the face of suffering.
Chasolen’s record also takes a page from the legendary artist James Taylor, either consciously or subconsciously.
Chasolen’s own personality pours out of the record, and coupled with his stellar piano work, it’s best described as professional music made by a visionary artist. His vocals come across as naturally calming and authentic, and his lyrics paint clear pictures with excellent action-based descriptors. The fact that he’s based the album as a set of songs geared toward anyone whose been through severe depression, loss or the death of a core relationship, makes it that much more powerful.
The highlights of the album, to me, are the opening track “Limbo” and its sublime opening guitar riff that expands into an emotional story-driven chorus. Another favorite, “Springtime in the City” showcases Chasolen’s fantastic piano skills on top of his calming energy that really best encapsulates the spirit of the whole record. It’s almost like a lullaby, but one that’s filled with inspirational lyrics about discovering love, and renewal, with the strings adding the exclamation point to the feel perfectly. I can also relate to “Gone” where he sings “I wan’t to hide away from all the world. You’ll never find me because I’m gone, gone gone gone and I’m not coming back.” Who hasn’t felt like that before?
Chasolen, a northern New Jersey native, began his journey into musical performance at 10-years-old. After exploring the trumpet and the drums, Scott discovered his true love, the piano, and at 16 was already performing in New York City and studying jazz. He later attended and graduated from New School University in Manhattan while maintaining a hectic lifestyle of creating, touring and recording with the successful instrumental group ulu.
These days along with his solo work he also performs regularly with his Pink Floyd cover band The Machine. For “Living in Limbo,” his six solo record, Chasolen claims it is an “…acoustic collection of beauty and heartbreak (that) encompasses a highly personal journey through a tragic loss of love.” He said that his “Undesirable but temporary living circumstances forced (me) to write half of the material on the guitar, with no access to a piano. The entire album was recorded in solitude in a NYC apartment during this incredibly difficult yet inspiring period.”
One small criticism of the record is that some of the tracks can blend together. Which, if you’re looking for a full record filled with calm, relaxing tunes is perfect. But, if you’re seeking something that you can be inspired by differently in a variety of ways by each track, you might not enjoy it as much.