Sing About Me

Written by: DR on 10/02/2013 20:01:17

Post-rock and vocals have a fractured relationship. When they work, they are often stunning; when they don't work, they are awkward and distracting. There is very rarely any middle ground between the two extremes. Cassie's debut full-length, "Sing About Me", takes the use of vocals to a degree seldom heard in post-rock - not necessarily in terms of quality, but in how often, and in what manner, they exploit the undeniably good vocals of singer Sofia Thurén.

In theory, "Sing About Me" should be a very good album. The vocals of Sofia Thurén are graceful and delicate but become big enough with ease when they need to be - usually as the songs climax. The post-rock music underneath draws from genre titans Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky flawlessly, is produced immaculately, and executed with the confidence and ability you would expect of a more established band. Taken individually, these two sections work very well. But when you put them together, the ability of the separate sections cannot offset the lack of cohesion between the two. Unfortunately, they fit into the aforementioned 'awkward and distracting' camp.

When post-rock and vocals do work is when the vocals are like another instrument, when they add another texture or colour to the band's sound, or at least when they are used sparingly to help create tension and draw you in further. Here, however, the vocals are supposed to be the main draw, more akin to rock bands than anything in post-rock, which is a big reason for the lack of cohesion between them and the music: they simply don't fit. In songs like "Alex" and "Whalers", the vocals get in the way as they reach towards their crescendos, which is indicative of the ultimate problem with "Sing About Me". It's like the band are there to supplement her performance when, with music of this ilk and quality, it should be the other way around. Despite how good a vocalist Thurén is, her vocals are too over-bearing, and as a result distracting, for the music to have any emotional impact on the listener.

"Sing About Me" is a debut, and there is enough talent to recognise the potential here. But still, after many listens, hoping the vocals would grow on me, I would much rather hear the music without them. It's certainly no coincidence the best moments of the album come at the end of "Golden" and "Gotherburg" in the vocal-free crescendos. As it is, though, the main fault with Cassie is that the vocals and music are not on the same wavelength; that the detachment between the two is too distracting for what could have otherwise been an immersive listen.


Download: Gothernburg, Golden
For The Fans of: Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Del Rey, Cecilia::Eyes
Listen: Bandcamp (name your price download)

Release Date 06.09.2012

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