On their debut self-titled album, You Drive—a collaboration between Makeup and Vanity Set (Matthew Pusti) and solo artist Jasmin Kaset—explore the urgency of the moments when we find ourselves to be “in love” and the ability of those moments to subsume both memory and foresight.
Pusti and Kaset, are both products of Nashville’s robust independent music scene and have known each other for nearly two decades. Makeup and Vanity Set has built a following with his prolific output of largely instrumental synth-heavy concept albums. Kaset is well-known around Nashville for her powerfully evocative character-driven songwriting style. The two have collaborated together in the past with Kaset occasionally adding lyrics and vocals to standout tracks on Makeup and Vanity Set projects (Hit TV, 88:88, Wilderness).
When Pusti and Kaset first decided to make an entire album together, Makeup and Vanity Set had been working on scoring a number of film projects with futuristic settings and was looking for a break from that. To create the tracks for the album, Pusti wrote instrumental tracks with Kaset’s lyrical and vocal talents in mind. Kaset created a mood board centered around discussions that the duo had about their shared goal of keeping the album present, grounded, and centered around universal themes and then composed lyrics and vocal melodies for the tracks, which she would send back to Pusti as voice memos. Pusti then made changes to the instrumentals to better fit the vocals. Only then did they meet in the studio to record the final version of the tracks.
The resulting album is just as evocative and atmospheric as fans of each artist should expect. With each song, Kaset uses her lyrics and vocal performance to insert the listener into a moment of intense emotional honesty, and Pusti manages to match her beat for beat, creating a fitting atmosphere and emotional backdrop for each track. Together they conjure up vivid glimpses into individual moments in a relationship—moments of anticipation, rapture, contentment, hesitation, anguish, dissolution, and wistful remembrance—while shading these moments with echoes of the past, the persistent nagging realities of the present, or the impossibility of foresight.