Artist: Michael Cera
Album: true that
Release Date: August 8, 2014
Millions of indie boys’ and girls’ hearts sang after Michael Cera released his first full-length album by surprise via his bandcamp earlier this month.
The album is titled “true that”, written in all lower case letters to maintain casual and understated style of Cera’s lo-fi creation. true that mainly consists of wandering piano melodies, a few plucks of a guitar, and -if you’re lucky- Cera’s whisper-like vocals.
Cera has been dipping his toes into the music scene for a while. After his obnoxiously cute rendition of a Moldy Peaches song in the 2007 film Juno and performing as the touring bassist for Mister Heavenly, Cera has finally tried his hand at music on his own and the results are 40 minutes of sleepy lo-fi folk.
It’s evident that this album wasn’t made to be on the Billboard Top 100, Cera didn’t release true that with a label nor did he make it available for physical purchase. true that seems like a very personal experiment, Cera recorded and preformed all the songs himself and decorated his bandcamp with cute, quirky home photos that just scream DIY. The album serves as a tiny window into his world, sort of like reading your friend’s diary. Instead of being presented with the quirky and awkward character Cera always seems to portray in movies, we are able to get an idea of the kind of person he really is from these 18 tracks.
The album embodies everything that a home-recorded album should be: simple, honest, and a labor of love. Most of the songs are short blurbs from inside the workings of Cera’s bedroom, except for the 5-minute ballad “Ruth”, in which Cera recalls in a far-off voice the tragic story of a woman named Ruth. This song sets the tone for the rest of the album, nostalgic and at times indifferent. The album’s subtle charm makes it so that the mood and overall experience varies from listener to listener. Cera gave his fans a “choose your own adventure” album, prompting feelings of happiness, regret, longing, or sadness depending on the listener. On true that, the beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.