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Produced by GRAMMY Award-winner Shooter Jennings, (Brandi Carlile, Tanya Tucker, American Aquarium) and mixed by Trina Shoemaker, (Brandi Carlile, Queens Of The Stone Age, Sheryl Crow,) Floating On A Dream is rendered in long shadows and moody high relief reflecting Kaplan’s Californian roots and fascination with the American West, broadening his artistry into enthralling new territory.
With country, blues, soul, tribal drums, and a touch of gospel underpinning his elemental acoustic driven rock, he explores matters of the heart, truth, morality, and the search for relevance across the album’s 11 original tracks. At the core though there is that voice. From a spooky falsetto to its deepest baritone, Kaplan’s instrument is unlike anything else in modern music. While a few of these songs were penned shortly after Kaplan’s departure from Pentatonix in 2017; most were written specifically for this project. What ties them together is the richness and fluidity of his vocal range, which may even surprise longtime fans.
Speaking on the album’s lead track, “First Place I Go,” (shared late last year) Kaplan stated, “Even though it has some dark undertones and some struggle, I wanted that first song to have strength. I wanted it to have fire,” he says. “I wanted to let people know that something is coming, and it’s not just going to be my lower register, and it’s not just going to be soft vocals, and it’s not just going to be sweet, singer-songwriter-y stuff. It’s going to be more than that, more than what I had done before.”
Many of the new tracks draw on Kaplan’s heartache following the separation he endured from his family due to excessive touring, and then continued through much of the pandemic.
“I spend a lot of time touring away from my family and I find myself missing them a lot,” he says. “The album’s “On My Way” is a letter to each person in my family. I have a brother, a sister, and a mother and father, and I wrote a specific verse for each one of them. It’s not always the songs dearest to your heart that the world gets to hear, but when that does happen, it’s a beautiful thing.
“I’ve been waiting a long time for this chance to give people my music, and to give people myself through my music,” he added. “It’s time to make that dream that I’m floating on, a reality.”