Leave it to Justin Taylor Phillips, aka Crywolf, to make a 24-year-old man cry like a 12-year-old child whose first girlfriend just broke up with him. While I’ve spent time with this man outside the studio, and he has generally been cheerful and friendly, I can only imagine him as a severely broken person when listening to his music.

It’s emotional in the deepest sense of the word, in the sense that you feel what he feels. You can easily sense the anguish in his voice, in his music, in his entire self. It’s all at once one of the most liberating and distressing sensations that you can ever feel, and it means that you’re still human.

Dysphoria is the name of the EP, and its namesake has a very specific reasoning.

“Lots of people talk about euphoria, but very few talk about its opposite, dysphoria. Dysphoria is defined as a ‘profound state of unease or perceived isolation.’ The ancient Greeks believed that states of dysphoria were induced by the presence of mysterious deities, foreign powers with unknown motives. If a foreign deity was in close proximity, you would start to feel their strange world seeping into your own, bleeding in.”

– Crywolf

Between the filtered vocals and the acoustic instruments, you get a real sense of diversity, of depth of sound. Various elements are tied together to create a singular acoustic (in the audio sense of the word, not “lacking electronic properties”) experience that leaves you breathless and hurting, wishing that you had someone to love, that you could forget the one you used to love, or that you could hold the one you currently love.

“We Never Asked For This” and “Shrike” are my favorites, the latter being my absolute favorite of Crywolf’s entire discography. The way it flows seamlessly from “Interlude; 9-23-87 4.34 am – Falling” straight into one of the most captivating basslines ever is magical. When the guitar falls into place, it’s like adding another weight onto your chest. When Justin’s voice rears its head over the music, I could feel my soul being tugged at from outside my body, craving to be set free and swim amongst the sonic experience emanating from my speakers. The whole song works brilliantly together, and I suggest that you do everything you can do remove yourself from distractions while listening to it.

Though, that applies to the entire EP as a whole, as well.

Don’t give a fuck about me, do yourself a favor and listen to this.

iTunes – bitly.com/CrywolfDYSPHORIA