Saturday, December 8, 2018


The songs! The voice! The dresses! The Halifax (via New Waterford) modern folk songwriter, one-half of the fine duo Cassie Josephine and Gabriel Minnikin, might do her own songs with calm and quiet, but the effect is powerful and bold. With just guitar, some piano and violin, and voices, she presents a batch of songs that define her identity and character, her state of independence at an important life juncture. As she tells us in Dear Cassie, a birthday letter to herself, she's hit the big 4-0, and she's doing it with no regrets, and lots of interest for the next 40.

Cassie Josephine's voice verges on old-timey, with a little twang and a lovely high warble, all the better for these gentle, contemplative songs. In the title track, a sad/happy number about a sundering, she can't be bothered to waste all those tears, so she'll go on, only half-blue. Alone again, she faces each day the same way, with coffee at Tim's, in Large One Cream And A Honey Cruller. But is that heaven or hell she wonders, the existential crisis not really all that bad. Dear Cassie traces all her deeds and misdeeds, opportunities taken and missed. All this looking back and contemplation is done in a refreshing and kind-hearted way, as if the singer is given the person absolution for being, well, human. It's hard to be good to yourself, and very healthy if you can, and in its calm way it's very much a feel-good album.

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