It’s amazing how quickly we give up who we are. For work, for family, for hate and for love. The lies we tell ourselves to justify what we’ve become. The sacrifices we’ve made just because we are afraid to be alone.

Montreal’s Chris Velan encapsulates that journey on “The Long Goodbye.” A piano confessional, Velan painfully admits he’s willing to give up on himself to save her. It’s the type of sentiment that feels romantic on first blush, but Velan knows it’s killing them both.

The LP is more stripped down than anything we’ve heard from Velan lately; more Matt Barber than Manu Chao, but it’s also a more direct path to Velan’s emotions. The cover art he offers is a simple take on a luche libre mask, and I’m not sure if it was Velan’s intent, but The Long Goodbye feels like a hero finally taking off his mask. The openness of afrobeat and reggae influence were a safety net of sorts, allowing Chris to nestle emotions under breezy melodies. It was a warm invitation.

“The Long Goodbye” is colder, harder to digest, but also more lasting and pure.