Evan McPhaden, the bassist from groove-rock quartet Aqueous, opened his new year with the surprise release of a solo album project under the alias “Fluffy Fingers.”

Entitled, You Make Me Smile, the six-track instrumental EP hears the bassist explore a lush mix of soothing, lofi compositions comprised of vibrant guitar and keyboard melodies and catchy beats from start to finish. The album offers a wonderful contrast to the high-energy jams which Aqueous delivers during their live performances, as McPhaden has instead channeled his inner zen to compose tranquil soundscapes that don’t need any vocals to keep the listener engaged throughout its manageable 24-minute runtime.

Fans of the band should note that McPhaden’s Aqueous bandmate Mike Gantzer also plays guitar on the opening track, “Summer Pool 104”.

Stream the new EP via the Spotify player below.

Fluffy Fingers – You Make Me Smile

Aqueous kept themselves somewhat busy during the dismal year for live music that was 2020. The Buffalo-based rock band participated in 11E1even Group‘s Live From Out There virtual concert series in the spring, released a live album of audio pulled from a virtual webcast at Pennsylvania’s Ardmore Music Hall in September, and even hosted some of their own drive-in performances in New York over the summer.