Some break ups are easy to fix, a few bottles of pink champagne and a night of dancing can pummel them into the past. Others are more suited for something like a negroni… or maybe a year’s worth of negronis and a songwriter’s obsession with writing the perfect breakup ballad. That’s the kind of situation Aaron Taos is confronting on his post-breakup album Closure & Campari, a proudly pop examination of the aftermath of moving on.
Taos' songwriting moves through the emotional upheaval of resolving that everlasting question, "Can we still be be friends?" "It's that grey area between break up one and break up two," he shares. "Can we still see each other and sleep with each other, but be broken up? Then it hits that second point where it’s clear - this is done. That's when this album was born."
Like any good rollercoaster, some songs feel positive. Take "Closure," sure it’s about doomed and drunken post-breakup sex, but the song makes it feel like that’s almost a positive choice. While others are melancholic or even resentful; "I must be in love," which is about, ironically, not actually being in love with someone you have the hallmark feelings for. "These are the stages of reminiscing about someone, especially when you're drinking," says Taos, who used the image of a hazy nightclub and a lovelorn singer as inspiration for his aesthetic down to the baby blue suit that features prominently in the album’s artwork. "That suit is perfect for the sort of sentiment that I'm trying to get across for this album. It's a drunken crooner to me."
The album mixes up upbeat pop with stripped-down confessionals. "Enemies," a track that digs into the whiplash-inducing change of going from loving to hating someone, delivers delightfully indulgent hooks, dripping with the agony of love lost. The last track, "I’m dyin’ but I understand," showcases Taos’ range - it’s more of a spoken-word confessional. You can tell it’s raw and what Taos was feeling in the throes of heartache.
"I think it's a good combination of songs that are honest and just good pop songs,“ he shares. It’s that combination of honesty and vibrant music that nursed Taos through the torture of unresolved romance. With his breakup in the rearview and his sights set on better days, Closure & Campari is the guidebook he leaves to the rest of us.
Listen to Closure & Campari below: