A dreamer dwelling and exploring her picturesque worlds beyond their boundaries. Gracefully skipping from one to another like hopscotch. To be more precise, Reese Lansangan travels the liminal, binary of her Asian heritage, Filipino and Japanese, and many other whimsical worlds.
Reese Lansangan: a feather-light voice and an ethereal wonder
Her endless fascination for books, arts, and pop culture summons her presentation of eclectic sceneries and visuals. Tiptoeing lightly in prairies and blossoming fields, she has a feather-light voice and soul which speaks her wide-eyed wonder. And, all the while, her sojourns are definitely a time well spent.
Aspirations taking flight
Beyond the delicate touch, Reese also has a fair share of bolting energy. Enough to break into the atmosphere, aboard her dainty rocket in aspirations to behold and be among celestial wonders. With sound waves reaching as far as the radar of the venerated institution of NASA. It would soon be taking a piece of her craft to where it is bound to go. A song only fitting to reach the obsidian-hued sea, ‘A Song About Space.’ The very composition of hers that joined the #LaunchAmerica campaign.
Exploring her imaginative repertoire
Her embarkment, countless, and the fifth one, Exploration no. 5 in particular presents to you a list of itineraries of the map to her mind of marvels. When she catches the mutual thunderbolt through the heart, prepare for a relentless pursuit of amusing observations. Conversations spanning crustaceans and the deepest oceans. Narrated musically in a ukulele-accompanied tune, entailing a wholesomely sweet voyage.
Reese believes in making meaning through music. Like rockets gearing up on their launch pad, the magic of her songwriting happens in the comfort of her own bedroom. A maximalist nook for pages, trinkets, and treasures, and walls plastered with posters for her infinite ideas for her craft, baring her adoration for just about many curious things under and beyond the sun.
Her gratitude to the vast expanse of the web contained in her debut album, ‘Arigato, Internet!’ This virtual world where she explored many emotions allowed her to discover the very stage that would soon be the home of her projects. In her TEDx Talk hosted by British School Manila she narrates;
I also distinctly remember the time when I discovered YouTube. It was (the) summer of 2006. And it might be very hard for you guys to imagine, for some of you at least, but at that time YouTube was still fairly new. I was on the homepage and on the featured video sidebar of YouTube I saw this (pointing at the projected screenshot of a video) Anna Free’s ‘Chained.’
It’s a girl in her living room in Portugal doing her original song with a guitar, and I thought, ‘Wait a second, I’m a girl, I have a guitar, I have a living room, I can write songs,’ and that was my big conclusion. I thought it was just that simple. But after that video, my whole approach to songwriting and music has changed.
Songwriting was no longer just for the Joni Mitchells or the John Lennons of the world. As it turns out any person with an internet connection can not only write songs but also be heard by the world. And the songs could literally be about anything, and nobody can have a say on whether or not they should exist. That was a revelation to me.
This collection is the introductory and definitive piece of Reese’s budding career back then. Carrying her staple compositions namely Grammar Nazi, A Song About Space, and Exploration No. 5.
Of Sound Mind and Memory
The gamboge-hued quartet EP carries exhibits the songsmith’s poetic tendencies. Of Sound Mind and Memory stays true to its title, its pensive introspection is of a mind that is tranquil and still. Hymns with an homage to the name of the ‘Father of Comedy,’ yearning for a steady love, pondering a fleeting passage of time, and gratitude to the gentle blessings of the universe.
Playing Pretend In the Interim
She also donned imaginary occupations, among others grammar police, and an astronaut. Moreover, an entire character-playing project contained her project ‘Playing Pretend in the Interim.’
A quintet-track extended play released in the season of the pandemic. Clad in five shoes, she became a yearning mall rat, a pizza delivery guy, a revenant, and a fleeting soul that is yet to leave a vestige.
The fourth track denotes a wide-eyed child with an awe-inspiring encounter with an encyclopedia salesman. The imaginative EP collects a retelling of what seemingly stark lives, decorated and told in her poetic affection and observations.
Time Well Spent
Her sophomore album, Time Well Spent then blooms in olive and sage green countenance with quarters namely Bloom, Keep, Heal, and Grow. Phases that progress the collection as to how one would tend to the garden in their own right. They serenade in fragrant melodies narrated by Reese’s crooning vocals.
Apart from the album, a fabric canvas transpired to be an extension of the story. A menagerie of precious fragments of her memories she delicately congregated on a scarf. Quintessential items from her childhood found a home in the off-white silk charmeuse she designed. The surface showcases a pocket watch, scanned photographs, jackstones, and a poppy in the middle of it all.
In her YouTube channel description, she regards herself as having “many things she can’t compromise. A singer-songwriter, visual artist, designer, published author – rolled into one convenient sushi” And, indeed her portfolio displays the work of industrious hands and a colorful mind.
While she basks in her forte in indie folk, the free-spirited Reese is not bound by the genre. In some parts of her discography, she ventured out for the colorful pastel pop and industrial lo-fi beats. With Franco, we even heard her sweet voice backdropped by a grunge rock sound in “Off of Center.” In other collaborative projects, we hear her jiving into neon-hued laid-back pop as well.
Throughout the years of her musical endeavors, Reese’s curious and courageous leaps into diverse universes took her listeners on a marvelous journey. She kept a good head and a good heart. With fluency in poetry and quirkiness, all the while understanding the responsibility of the creative vocation.
Caysel has a fascination with words at an early age. Her love for writing has bloomed since then. After being taught to play musical instruments, she learned the magic of words when intertwined with melodies. She would later discover a new love for songwriting. Venturing into the music scene and the lively world of pop culture are among her favorite activities. She aspires to tell their stories. When life gets a little tough, Caysel disappears into the world of K-dramas, figure skate ice dance programs and video essays, then comes right back whenever she's ready.