He Is Me

a He is Me, “Cleansing” – Single/Video Review

​“One of the most exciting projects to come out of Canada in recent years.”  That is a pretty amazing accolade by Metal Injection, for a band on its’ fourth single.
Released March 20, 2017, Portland, Oregon’s Casey and Calgary, Alberta’s Steve released the single with a video, entitled “Cleansing.”.
​With Casey providing the music and production and Steve providing lyrics and vocals, this duo has released an interesting ambient rock/metal song. While there are are moments when it feels dreary and aggressive, it ends peacefully.  Casey is obviously a talented musician, and the unique voice Steve provides, blends well.  If you like the Editors, for instance, I’d say it sounds very much like an experimental, edgier Editors.  “Cleansing” is well recorded, and fresh sounding.  If this single is indicative to the rest of the music they are currently working on for their full release, I’d say they have achieved something that will have a wide-range of appeal.
The video concept is unique and surprising, but ultimately makes sense.  The main obvious theme is fire, and at first seeing the association with “cleansing” seems unlikely.  From a house on fire to violent rioting fire, from children with sparklers to tribal traditional fire, their chosen visual accommodation really makes you think.  Is “cleansing” simply what is needed to recover from any of life’s obstacles?  Hate?  Injustice?  Is cleansing picking up the devastation in our current state of political unrest?  Is cleansing what we all need to “find” to return to the innocence of childhood, or to keep a long-lived ethnic tradition?  Whatever the intended meaning, it is a stimulating, well shot video that will make you think.  As the pace of the song comes to a slow peaceful conclusion, images of all walks of life are portrayed, with an overlay of Canadian geese gracefully flying across the screen.  That imagery brings about a feeling of peace through the turmoil.
Maybe I’m overthinking it…reading too much into it.  Perhaps the pair just like fire, and the Canadian Geese imagery is just a tongue in cheek nod to the physical distance between the bandmates.  After all, Canadian Geese (Steve is from Canada) make their trans-oceanic flight to Portland (Casey is from Portland) each year.
While they first partnered in 2001 with “Silenser,” and this release is the result of Casey asking Steve to provide guest vocals, I think the decision to move forward with He is Me as a project, will result in some really good music, if this single is any indication.
“Cleansing” is pleasant, the duo that makes up “He is Me” talented, the concept is interesting, and the video was well shot and thought provoking.