It is not always easy to describe the vibe and sounds of a Seven Layer Piano Cakes song. For Los Angeles-based musician Justin Hoyt, this is entirely by design because of his deep thematic exploration into his storytelling that involves politics, anxiety, middle-age, and trauma. Creating melodies that are accessible for everyone, they manage to also be complex and genre-fluid.
Today, Seven Layer Piano Cakes shares the single “Middlegame.” This breathtaking single comes on the heels of the 2020 debut EP Mood Swings and his second EP The Patriarch released earlier this year.
Here’s Hoyt on the single: “Middlegame” is a sequel to my recent song “Novel Opening.” “Novel Opening” was my take on the pandemic and hopes for a better future. “Middlegame” is about dissatisfaction in that weird stage of life between young adulthood and middle-age, where one can often find like they are starting to get what they want, but there is this fog of uncertainty and fear about the past and future. Sort of how you can get what you want but still feel numb and empty, where we are often looking for some kind of new spark to snap out of it.
I am a huge chess aficionado. “Middlegame” is the second of three chess-titled songs, but, if it is not obvious, it relates to the emotional challenges of early middle-age. It also is a veiled hint at the musical styles being expressed in the song. The song has vibes that many people between 35-45 may find comfort in, as it is kind of a dark, but pop-rock song with vintage synths and lead guitar work inspired by many artists of this generation.”