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Based in Los Angeles and Washington DC, Casual war is a duo intent on exploring the darker and more ethereal corners of indie rock.

Vocalist Maria Law and guitarist Erik Mattingly have been playing together since 2018, first making a name for themselves playing clubs in DC and Milwaukee before evolving toward a dreamier desert rock sound as the two continued to make the project work on separate coasts.

In Promontory, the narrator walks along a cliff towards the sea, with only scattered memories as companions.

“Take this seeker to the shore. Draw my longing out some more.”

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The lyrics allow only brief clues about the past before they take on the quiet urgency of the future. “One more step to open air; one more step, just one I swear.” Hands beat distant drums in lockstep. Layered guitars drone ominously. At the song’s climax, powerful and dreamy vocals feed into synthesizers and guitars crashing together, washing away the earlier questions about the past under huge currents of sound.

“Wheresoever I may go, I have to. Whatsoever I may find, I have to let go.”

The song is perhaps best understood as a capstone for a period of intense life change, with the final words a mantra for taking a leap of faith. The song is about taking the last step from a broken past and the first step toward an uncertain future. It ends just before the moment of decision.


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