Luke Ivanovich

Erik Kase Romero delves into the person he was and is becoming on his debut album, ‘how to be still & still be here’

Erik Kase Romero, or EKR, as he’s often referred to, is known for his distinctive contributions to a plethora of notable indie bands and artists, like Deal Casino, Well Wisher, stillhungry, Sonic Blume, and dollys. He’s also assisted Grammy-award-winning Lorde and a handful of other well-known acts in the studio. The New Jersey native wears many hats, splitting his time serving in a variety of roles in the music industry: multi-instrumentalist, coveted record producer/engineer, and a member of popular emo/alternative rockers, The Front Bottoms. Now Romero is showcasing his considerable talents as a composer on his intimate debut solo album, how to be still & still be here, and we’re definitely here for it. 

To say this body of work is strong is an understatement, as it’s a big step forward for him as a solo artist, showcasing sincere, retrospective (and introspective) lyrical themes and gorgeous, simmering production. The songs are a mix of soulful alt-country, folk, and right there under the surface are elements of emo that draw listeners in closely. There’s a powerful array of inspirations on display, and the results are a wonderful blurring of genres that truly sets Romero apart. His latest single, “susquehanna” exemplifies all of this. Speaking on how the song came to be, Romero says:

“...the song started out as an exploration of very strong memories I have from my early childhood. It's an attempt to unpack how those experiences have molded who I am and how they are intertwined for better or for worse with how I engage the world.”

Songs like “honest” and “still” are more strong examples of Romero’s songwriting and serve as ear candy and fits in neatly between the sound of Bon Iver and a band like Pinegrove. We’re early into 2024 but how to be still & still be here is already one of the strongest releases we’ve gotten so far in these early weeks and we recommend you give the whole thing a listen.

For updates and news, be sure to follow EKR on Instagram and stream how to be still and still be here on all platforms.