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Denise Casey, Come Alive - COURTESY

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  • Denise Casey, Come Alive

(Self-released, digital)

I used to sing karaoke at a Philadelphia dive referred to as Locust Bar, the place everybody from hipsters to grizzled previous males felt snug taking their shot on the mic. One common singer caught my ear along with her distinctive sound. Her voice wasn’t conventionally good, nevertheless it was uncommon, so I stored listening.

With a tone that falls someplace between that of Natalie Service provider and Joan Armatrading, Burlington acoustic people artist Denise Casey‘s voice pulled that karaoke queen from the recesses of my reminiscence inside the first few notes of her debut full-length album, Come Alive.

Although her tone caught my consideration from the get-go — the album’s first tune, “Hermit Thrush and Me,” opens with Casey performing a cappella — Casey’s total vocal efficiency isn’t her strongest attribute. All through the LP, however notably on “Sheeba’s Throne,” for instance, the notes sound swallowed and fewer than pitch-perfect. Moreover, her rhythmic supply by no means fairly lands within the pocket — a nuance that does not appear to be a deliberate fashion selection.

A peek at Casey’s public social media profiles reveals an individual who seeks pleasure and meditates on development and gratitude. Her lyrics, then again, are likely to heart on extra sobering themes. In “The Void,” she sings of isolation: “That is the determined name you make / to flee the emotions which you can’t take alone.” With “Newbury,” Casey (no relation to fellow Vermont folkster Patti Casey) crafts a very unhappy tune a couple of cherished one’s failing well being, offering a vivid picture not simply of loss however of dying: “We all know how this ends and I am afraid to talk, / watching you watch this demise creep / over his bones, / by means of his pores and skin, / over your coronary heart / I watch you breaking.”

Casey taught herself to sing and play guitar after a life-changing journey to Nepal. Her guitar traces are easy and simplest when augmented by her fellow gamers. Chris Krag’s violin intensifies the sorrow of “Newbury.” A post-verse guitar lick with Caleb Weathers brightens “Lida’s Music” (presumably named for Casey’s someday collaborator and Vermont choreographer Lida Winfield).

Golden-throated Grace Aldrich, who contributes background vocals on a number of tracks, steals the highlight in “River Run,” on which she and Casey sing in concord over purely percussive instrumentation, calling to thoughts Fiona Apple’s “Scorching Knife.”

So what is Casey’s strongest function as a musician? In all probability her innate must make music and her means to embrace it as a type of self-care, as she describes in her bio. It is every listener’s selection whether or not or not they want to interact along with her work. Casey, as she tells it, has no selection however to make music, so make music she ought to.

Come Alive is obtainable at

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