Standout Track: No. 5, “Skylark,” in which Casper Bangs (aka Rob Pierangeli) croons romantically amid an ocean of quasi-psychedelic squalor. But the curtain of noise can’t quite obscure the song’s melodic sophistication—in the hands of a open-minded jazz combo, “Skylark” might even make a pretty good cocktail tune.

Musical Motivation: In keeping with the song’s classy Jesus and Mary Chain–meets–Burt Bacharach vibe, “Skylark” is somewhat highbrow in its origins. Pierangeli, a Shaw resident and former frontman of the D.C.-based rock band the Hard Tomorrows, says the chichi décor at Dupont Circle’s Tabard Inn inspired the song. “On the wall there was an old-timey picture of a balloon floating away, and ‘skylark’ was written on it,” he says. “Basically it’s just about someone leaving and moving toward something else.”

Moniker Resolution: Unwilling to christen his solo project with his given name, Pierangeli developed the Casper Bangs pseudonym by combining Casper—a name he thought sounded good—with Bangs, his girlfriend’s surname. “I thought it would be a cool thing to take her last name as my stage name,” he says. “Then…we broke up and I was like, ‘fuck.’” Pierangeli decided to roll with it. “It made sense with the record and it felt like it was the right thing to do,” he says. “Five years from now it may be another story.”

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