Emotional Freedom Technique is the official solo debut of Dave Depper, a Portland-based musician who'd toured the world many times over as a transient bandmember, sideman, and session musician for over a decade by the time of its completion. He technically had a couple of solo releases already, in a re-creation of Paul McCartney's 1971 album Ram called The Ram Project, and the EP Utrecht Suite, which captured solo guitar and loop pedal improvisations while on tour in 2015. The year before that, Depper accepted an offer to join the lineup of indie hitmakers Death Cab for Cutie as multi-instrumentalist, replacing Chris Walla. Work on Emotional Freedom Technique goes back even further than that and was heavily influenced by a life on the road that made it hard to maintain relationships back home ("I stumble home, always alone/Will it ever be different?"). The album was made almost entirely in isolation, with Depper recording all of the instruments himself, though there is a duet with frequent collaborator Laura Gibson. That song, "Your Voice on the Radio," is a highlight with funky guitar, disco beats, and glossy keys that buoy his intimate spin on synth pop. The slower, more reflective "Anytime, Anywhere" has the sweetness and sheen of an Erasure ballad, while "Communication" was written the day after the death of Prince and uses a Linn drum machine closely associated with Prince's sound. The album is loaded with vintage synths, grooving basslines, and simple hooks that contribute to a bittersweet quality when taken together with Depper's wistful, unassuming delivery and lyrics that long for connection. It's a record that will keep heads bobbing through occasional urges to give Dave a hug.