Rather than pinpoint past relationship experiences to specific people, Greg Aram and bensteiner. came together to build a character who encompasses all of them. The title of the collaborative anastasia EP is a clever conflation of a traditional girl name and the anesthetic cool so often associated with recurring romantic struggle.

Effect-doused vocals and synth scribblings mark much of the project’s four songs. The two NYU students, friends since their Freshmen year, shared writing responsibility. Although they both unsurprisingly penned the synthesis of their respective dabbling in love and lust, bensteiner. alone handled production and engineering work (though not without feedback from his partner).

Image via bensteiner.

Image via bensteiner.

“I think what attracted me to Ben’s production is that his sound walks the fine line between being unique, but also aurally familiar, ” Aram told us. “In my opinion, I believe the pallet of sounds put into anastasia clearly paints the beauty of a woman, with the underlying darkness that exists in the modern age relationship.”

The soundscapes balance out, with busier, heavier sections retreating to drawn-back spots that allow Greg’s rhymes space to take centerstage, as they do during the sandwiched middle of “blink.”

“Greg has this really, really fine attention to detail, but he has trouble describing what he’s thinking sometimes,” bensteiner. added. “So getting his ears on a mix is essential to me because his nontraditional ear and methods of description hone in on the things that mine miss. He also has some fire bars.”

Listen to anastasia below. You can also download the project for free right here.