“Psalms and Psychoses” is the online destination for artist Jeremiah Castelo. Inspired by the artistic perseverance of the biblical figure of King David, his songs are lush compositions combining the acoustic guitar with electronic elements into layered soundscapes like Radiohead fronted by Jamiroquai, like Buckley leading Coheed and Cambria. Onto these sonic canvases, Jeremiah projects the psychoses, neuroses, and the experiences learned from close exposure to mental illness, psychological trauma, and personal struggles with drug use.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Jeremiah came in contact with tremendous diversity in ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which in turn shaped his diverse taste in music. As the nephew of renowned Filipino singer Anthony Castelo, he already had music in his genes. His first songs were written at the age of 12, when the widow of an unknown musician sold him an unbranded f-hole jazz guitar (along with a VOX amp) for $50. And by high school, the decision to have music become a permanent part of his life took hold, driving him to devote serious effort to the musicianship required to become nothing short of a rock star.
It wasn’t until after college, though, that Jeremiah’s musical–and life–journey would be
irreversibly altered. While gainfully employed at a state psychiatric ward, and having finally overcome tough personal struggles involving substances, self-actualization, and destructive relationships, Jeremiah faced a significant conflict: choose the safe route as the responsible family provider, or venture further into the unpredictable world of the arts. As he himself put it, “The left side of my brain was telling me that I had grown up, and that it made complete sense to settle down. The right side of my brain however, could not stop creating melodies.” He owed it to himself as a test of character, and to God as a sign of allegiance. Thus, he resolved to let all the experiences that shaped the man also shape the music.
As a result, Jeremiah’s music has a cinematic quality that fits in the numerous aspects of the human experience. Songs like “Every Part of Mine” and “Crawling Through November” have a clear beginning, a build up, tension, climax, resolve, and even a plot. Everything comes together like a jazzy, ambient soundtrack to a movie that mirrors the rise and fall of life itself.
Jeremiah is currently at work on a 6-song EP, the follow-up to his album Every Part of Mine. The collection promises to display his independent spirit and a style developed and nurtured outside the influence of major labels. His website, Psalms and Psychoses, also features his art and poetry that bear his distinct stamp. It’s a style that showcases the song above all, with all electronic parts, effects, poetry, paintings, and lyrics working together to deliver a powerful message of transcendence and hope.