Back In Berlin, With A Positive Spin
Fresh from announcing a record deal signed with Berlin-based label BMG, Macclesfield trio Cassia have returned with a brand new single, marking a continuation of their downright ridiculous run of form in 2020. Being the group's third release of the year, 'Don't Make a Scene' is every bit as wonderful as the tunes that have preceded it, and should remind all listeners just how talented this group are.
Following on from the punchy guitars of 'Drifting', and 'Do Right' (undeniably one of SMPM's favourite tracks of the year), this latest single is every bit as compelling as the two tunes that came before it. Demonstrating again the band's exploration of an increasingly trademark style, Cassia's 2020 output has planted a flag in the sand with precisely what Cassia's "sound" is, and it's a very, very good one.
2019's Replica, while an impressive debut album from a particularly promising group, often had its own style almost eclipsed by a clear influence from Vampire Weekend, but no such comparisons surround their new direction. Now, hugged in the laid-back grooves and soft guitar twinkles of 'Don't Make a Scene', Cassia have shown that they are a band with an entirely unique voice, emerging from their influences to offer a musical experience unlike any other group right now.
There's just something infinitely calming about the way in which Cassia's recent songs wash over their listeners. Just like with 'Drifting' and 'Do Right', the group don't fuck about with over-developed or flowery introductions, kicking off the track with an immediately disarming vocal hook before dissolving into Rob Ellis' distinctive voice. Again paired with an immensely satisfying selection of guitar tones and a quietly impressive bass contribution from Lou Cotterill (ed: the fills!!) the group have managed to craft *another* wonderously infectious chorus that has had me muttering "all of the ordinary people" uncontrollably for the past few days like a nervous tick.
It is probably through Jacob Leff's inch perfect drum grooves that these singles really punctuate just how calming their music is, with the quiet splashes of cymbal hits in the choruses delivering payload after payload of relaxed appeal. But then, a guitar solo?? Hot. The run at [2:17] is wonderful, the tone cuts through with just the perfect amount of drive and the way it lands on the vocal hook with that short trill at [2:22] is just YES. I love it. What a song.
Whatever Cassia and BMG have in store for us in the coming months, if Cassia's recent spurts of creativity hold any indication then we should all be getting very excited.
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Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.