Friday, 30 January 2015

Track by track review: Michael Cassidy - My Electric Heart

aisley singer songwriter Michael Cassidy has been a long term favourite here at Scottish Fiction.  He was my first ever live guest on the radio show, the headliner of our first ever Scottish Fiction Presents gig, and more importantly he has been a crafter of wonderfully rich and captivating music for the last few years. 

Which is why it is an absolute delight to be able to say his debut album My Electric Heart  is out now!  An album which brings together many of Michael's well known songs, combining his award winning song-writing with the warming sounds of his band.  Michael kindly put pen to paper to give us a little insight about each of the tracks on the album.

1) Running Water

An upbeat poppy number about drunken stumbles home. This is a fun song to play live and we usually open gigs with it so it had to go first on the album.

2) Battleships

Battleships  deals with heartache and longing that could be considered in a negative light but I've decided to put a positive, and more hopeful, spin on things.  I feel the song has a really uplifting message in it which comes through whenever I sing it and it is definitely one of my favourites from the album to play.

3) 15 Years

This track is my latest single to coincide with the release of the album and I also shot a video in and around Glasgow, showing of some of its most famous sites.  The video will be put up online a couple of days before the album launch.  The lyrics are basically about me asking myself the question how long would I wait for someone who has rejected me, and instead of responding that I would wait 'forever', like quite a lot of other songs, I thought I would put an exact value on it!  And I guess the answer is 15 years haha!  This is big foot stomper though and I always close my set with it, which always seems to be well received by the crowd.

4) The Men Who Stood Beside Me in the War

This short song was written after reading about the experiences of a group of soldiers in war.  I've written the lyrics from the perspective of an old soldier thinking back to the comrades he lost and their different experiences.  I am really very fond of this song and the simplicity of it.  It's also the song that won me the inaugural Gerry Rafferty songwriting prize, which is undoubtedly my biggest achievement to date.

5) Real Love

Real Love  is a really upbeat song that has been described to me as a Glasgow fairytale, which made me laugh.  The title of it is tongue in cheek as it's really a song about a fleeting one night drunken romance and the different feelings that at the time might feel like 'real love' but are different when you wake up.  These are universal feelings that I know a lot of people can connect with.  The track is basically a song about being single, going out, and enjoying yourself.

6) Breath on my Window

A more serious ballad, which is about loss, and the questions you ask yourself in the aftermath of that event.  This song was definitely an important one for me because it helped me address certain issues.  I am really proud of the music and lyric in this song and I think they really complimented each other nicely, helping me get across what I was really trying to say, which is that things will be alright.

7) Dancing at the Devil's Door

A heavy rolling blues number, where the lyrics are about addressing a time in my life where I felt I was maybe going out and drinking a little too much.  In the song I am questioning myself and the different choices I make. Musically, I love the guitar line that runs throughout the song.

8) My Electric Heart

This is the title track from the album and for me it sums up a constant theme running throughout the album.  It's a story of falling for someone quickly and then changing your mind just as quickly.  I remember writing the words to this after swimming in a lake in Vienna.  I’m really proud of the outro section of this song and the strings.

9) Guy Fawkes

My attempt at condensing the story of Guy Fawkes into two long verses and keeping it factually accurate whilst still hummable!  I like to think I achieved that and stayed factual!  Maybe you could play it in schools!  The track also has a canon at the end, which was fun to record and something I have always wanted to have in one of my songs.

10) The Gulf Between

This song deals with the difference between humans and animals and I always pictured the video to this would be me walking through Noah's ark but I'm not sure if I would have the budget to achieve that.

11) Montpellier

I wrote this song on Christmas day and it is a happy song about the start of a new relationship that brings with it a lot of joy but also reveals some darker sides.  I would best describe it as a bittersweet love song because although although the lyrics are happy, they also are wary of the future.

12) Everybody's Scared

I owe a lot to Everybody's Scared  as it's the first track of mine that was picked up by people  It's a song about the ending of a relationship and the lyrics were written the day before I knew it was going to end.  It's a pretty sad song, but does however still have an uplifting feel to it which is something I have been very interested in thematically; having upbeat songs with a sad subject matter.

Michael Cassidy - My Electric Heart  is out on 2nd February via D Set Records and can be purchased all good online music retailers or directly from Michael Cassidy's Bandcamp

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