Emotional Freedom Technique

Sometimes it takes a push. For Dave Depper, that push was a game with friends that challenged each person to write 20 songs in 12 hours. From that came the bones of “Never Worked So Hard,” a simple tune with heavy synth steps, harboring an angst that pushes against a pop inclination. It was catchy enough to inspire Depper to write his debut solo album, Emotional Freedom Technique. After years of playing with artists like Ray LaMontagne, Fruit Bats, and as a full-time member of Death Cab for Cutie, Depper’s solo exploration allowed him to realize just how lonely he’d been touring the globe. There’s a cleanliness to the record that isn’t much of a surprise coming from a seasoned musician. The synths are tasteful and meticulous, and Depper’s clean-toned alto voice cuts through with a similar synth-like precision. The standout track is “Your Voice on the Radio,” which features Laura Gibson singing with Depper, the two weaving poppy melodies over buoyant, bright synths. It’s got a kick … or a push.