The final solo recordings of Neal Casal, the prolific solo artist and in-demand guitarist who died in August 2019, have been made available. “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon” were released Thursday to both pay tribute to Casal and raise funds for the Neal Casal Music Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to put musical instruments into the hands of kids and provide mental-health support for artists.
“Everything Is Moving,” which Casal began in 2013 and was finished by his friends this year, arrives with an accompanying music video directed by Ray Foley that compiles archival footage of Casal from various stages of his life. He’s walking city streets, meeting fans, and communing with nature in his favorite location: the surf and sand. The clip concludes with a flotilla of Casal’s surfer friends celebrating his life in a moving “paddle out” ceremony, poking holes in the song’s opening lyric: “I am just a shadow on the wall/One day you won’t think of me at all.”
“Green Moon” is a bucolic ballad recorded at Casal’s California studio in 2016. Like “Everything Is Moving,” it too was finished by friends in 2020. “There’s a place for you in time, to be a witness to something so divine,” Casal sings.
In fact, Casal was that witness. Along with being an avid surfer, he documented everyday life as a photographer. A stunning new coffee-table book, Tomorrow’s Sky: Photographs by Neal Casal, compiles his work under various sections: one is devoted to music, one to surfing, one to hotel rooms, and so on.
Jeff Hill, a musician who helped finish “Everything Is Moving” and “Green Moon,” says Casal’s art will live on for years. “Working on these songs has been truly cathartic for me as I continue to process the loss of my dear friend,” he says in a statement. “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.”
The two songs are available for streaming now and will be released as a 7-inch on February 26th to further benefit the Neal Casal Music Foundation. Casal, who played with artists from Ryan Adams and Chris Robinson to his own solo band Circles Around the Sun, committed suicide at age 50.