Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Single/EP Review - Michael Cassidy - Michael Cassidy

o say I've been looking forward to this EP would be a huge understatement. I first heard Michael Cassidy's music in 2010 (not counting seeing him play in various bands in teenage years). Last year after hearing 'Everybody's Scared' and also watching the rather solemn video it set in my mind the notion that Michael would be onto bigger and better things before long. It's an opinion which is shared by a lot of people, and he had a fantastic year in 2011, supporting Ocean Colour Scene, Ben Howard, playing regularly across Scotland, getting a play on BBC Introducing In Scotland and of course playing live on the Scottish Fiction radio show (a highlight I'm sure!).

Having signed to D Set Records and playing along with Beerjacket, Coat Hooks and Julia And The Doogans at tonight's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut's New Year Revolution gig, Michael is using tonight as an opportunity to play the tracks from his debut EP, simply titled 'Michael Cassidy'

It's an EP that holds together very well, the glue to that structure is Michael's warm and comforting voice. It's a truism that singer/songwriters are a dime-a-dozen so the nature of Michael's voice, along with the slightly dulled Paisley accent, is something that stands out.

Opening track is the most well known, having been the track played on the aforementioned Ally McCrae show. It's also probably the strongest on the EP, instantly hooking the listener with it's intriguingly simple melody. 'Everybody's Scared' has an almost onomatopoeic quality about it, as it genuine conveys the sense of fear both in Michael's voice and especially in the haunting trumpet section. My love for this track is well documented, and indeed I included it as one of my 'Best of 2011'.

Second song on the EP is '15 Years', a love song with a limit. The vocals in this track have a reverb-y quality about them, and there's another strong acoustic rhythm underneath with a steady beat kept at times on some bongo drums. The backing vocals on this track also add depth and nice 'all around you' sound. It's another track I'm familiar with (you may be too) as it was on the July Scottish Fiction EP.

'Meet You At The Corner' is the very first song of Michael Cassidy's I heard. It's a tale of youthful adventures, fraught with the common enemies of no money, no place to go and drunkenness. With lines such as 'Well we're going to the Union and we've got a tenner each', and 'I feel no chains around these feet' it's a feel good track about a time when things were just simpler.

'15 Years' and 'Meet You At The Corner' are both fine tracks, but they are sandwiched between the real quality on this EP. I've already waxed lyrical about 'Everybody's Scared' and closing 'Til You' is another track with haunting vocals, mesmerising backing music and a real 'Neil Young' feel about it, with Michael espousing the benefits of clean living. It's not quite as good in my opinion as the opener, but it's a fine closing track, showcasing Michael's talent as a musician and songwriter.

I can't really say this as a criticism (because it's not), but the only minor note for me is that I've heard all this material before. It doesn't diminish the quality of it, and indeed it's not as if it's recycled or a blatant rip off, I just wanted a little taste of what's to come. I'm being unreasonably greedy no doubt, and impatient. This EP will garner many more to Michael's music and takes us all by the hand leading to us anxiously waiting for more.

Buy Michael Cassidy - 'Michael Cassidy' for £3.50 here

Check out more of Michael Cassidy below:

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