Thomas Dunn has been making music that’s spanned several genres and monikers for a few years now around the Michigan cities of Midland (where they grew up) and Ypsilanti (where they went to school). Recently, however, Dunn has settled on a name—Cashmere Washington—and a clear style—lo-fi indie rock that incorporates hip-hop and jazz influences, among others. Dunn also decided that Cashmere Washington would be introduced to the world via a trio of EPs.
The first of these EPs—last September’s The Shape of Things to Come—was one of my favorite releases of 2021. Dunn’s sharp songwriting and guitar playing cemented Cashmere Washington as an up-and-coming-project to watch in my mind.
The second EP is called (amazingly) Almost Country for Old Men, Electro Country for They/Them, and I’m happy to be premiering the song “Rosy” ahead of its release. In the context of Almost Country for Old Men…, “Rosy” is the big-finish final track, the EP’s biggest jolt of unbridled catharsis, and a key moment in the Cashmere Washington journey thus far. Although Dunn helms the track in Cashmere Washington’s increasingly familiar style, those sharp intro power chords the closest the project has veered into straight-up pop-punk.
“I wanted to make sad songs that people could dance to or enjoy life while blasting in their car,” Dunn acknowledges before going into some of the darker inspirations for “Rosy”. Dunn lost a friend to suicide in 2018, and the song “was my way of capturing the energy they carried around while they were alive while writing about the circumstances leading up to their decision.”
It is also, autobiographically for Dunn, about being laid-up recovering from a car crash and, in such a state, becoming moved by the romantic simplicity at the end of Adam Sandler’s The Wedding Singer. So, yes, “Rosy” is about trying to capturing some heavy emotions—love, grief, growing older, you know. Dunn gives us a couple lyrical glimpses into the driving forces beyond everything roiling around in “Rosy” (the lines “Backwards hat on / Pastor’s kids they / Backslid so hard” say volumes in little), but the song is mostly a vibe-driven cypher.
In addition to the song’s premiere, today also sees the release of its music video, in which Dunn plays a “bored Midwestern detective”, and it comes a few days after a mini-documentary about the recording of Almost Country for Old Men, Electro Country for They/Them featuring Dunn and Casia SK-1 of Fish People Birds Records.
Almost Country for Old Men, Electro Country for They/Them releases on February 25th.