Neal Casal’s final two songs, “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon,” were just released after the singer’s death in 2019. Along with the release of the new singles, a music video for “Everything Is Moving,” directed by Ray Foley, was also shared today. “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon” will also be available as a limited edition 7″ on February 26, with pre-orders currently available.
Casal first began writing the songs in 2013, the singles never completed prior to Casal’s suicide at the age of 50. “Everything Is Moving” alludes to Casal’s state of mind, the dark lyrics highlighting what others may think after his death. “From the silence of your summers past/You have been released at last/Everything is moving much too fast,” Casal sings. “Now has come your turn/To release your dying and your dead/To refuse to let yourself be there,” lends a dark hindsight to Casal’s state of mind.
“Working on these songs has been truly cathartic for me as I continue to process the loss of my dear friend,” friend and collaborator, Jeff Hill, said in a press release. “Neal writes in ‘Everything Is Moving,’ ‘I am just a shadow on the wall, you won’t even think of me at all.’ As much as Neal’s lyrics can be eerily prophetic of the tragedy to come. He was wrong, so many of us will be thinking of Neal for decades to come.”
Foley incorporated footage of Casal throughout his career in the new music video, beginning with him talking about his life. “Everything started out on the right track, on the normal path. And then around three, my parents got divorced, and I had a feeling that sometime, that suddenly, my life would never be like that again,” Casal said at the start of the video. He carries his guitar, laughing with friends from young until older.
Casal’s friends and collaborators came together to complete his final two songs. Hill, Jon Graboff, John Ginty, George Sluppick, Jena Kraus, JP Hesser and Jim Scott all worked on “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon,” hoping to share Casal’s final work.
Casal first began “Everything Is Moving” in 2013, recording at The Stable at Studio G in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Casal played accosting guitar on the track, in addition to lending his vocals, while Graboff also played acoustic guitar, Hill played bass and Joe Russo played the drums. In July, 2020, Graboff returned to the track to play pedal steel, Ginty played piano and Hammond joined on the B-3 organ and harmony vocals alongside Kraus.
“Green Moon” begins slow, Casal counting off before diving further into the track, the heavy acoustic strings and drum beats flowing as Casal croons over the instrumentals. “Another day soon will end/We are free to go/But nothing’s gonna be like it was before,” Casal sings, the track also lending a dark hindsight. “Count the days behind you/They will always find you/No matter where you’ve been/You will return again,” Casal sings as he describes better places and times. The instrumentals bring a slightly haunting tone as they break down before Casal joins again on vocals.
Casal began “Green Moon” in 2016, recording at Castaway 7 Studios in Ventura, California. Casal contributed the lead and background vocals, acoustic and electric guitars as well as piano, while Hill and Sluppick added bass and drums to the recording in October, 2020.
The Neal Casal Music Foundation will be releasing a limited edition 7″ vinyl of “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon,” with 100 percent of the proceed benefitting the 501c non-profit in Casal’s name that provides instruments and lessons to students in New Jersey and New York state schools, which also makes donations to mental health organizations created to support musicians in need.
Casal had been a member of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals from 2004-2009, with Casal joining the Chris Robinson Brotherhood afterwards. Casal’s career had spanned over 30 years, with him participating in bands Circles Around the Sun, Beachwood Sparks, The Skiffle Players and Hard Working Americans. Casal had also performed live with Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, Sheryl Crow, Lucinda Williams, The Jayhawks, James Iha and Vetiver.