Listening to the debut album from singer-songwriter Nic Cassey is like being invited to an exclusive magical party filled with whimsy and wonder and dapper, talking animals.

To be honest, I am reluctant to invite anyone else to the party. There is something in Where Are You Going I Just Collected Some Pellets which makes you want to keep secret, hidden. Lulled by Cassey’s melodic voice, the album takes you to a place where people wander barefoot, watch spiders conversing with one anther and have peculiar and profound romances.

Alternating between piano and guitar, Cassey meanders from sunshine-filled pop through to dark musical woodlands. One moment you’re cheerily whistling, the next you want to be alone and stare into space. There is an intriguing disregard of pretention and artifice. Cassey seems just as happy singing about the return of a lost chicken in ‘Chicken’ as he is to share intimate self-doubts and questions of longings.

Where Are You Going is like a candid record of time passing. It captures the humdrum and the exalted without any heavy-handedness or preference. In ‘Madness’, the instantly hum-able opening track, we meet a lovable social recluse. In ‘Icicle Cubes’, a darker, piano-driven piece, we take a sombre turn “down to the river”. And then, there’s the secret track. When I heard the last track, I had no idea the album was still on and thought some ethereal being was trying to communicate with me through my speakers. With castanets and violins, oboes and banjos, this release is the magical party of the summer. (I suppose you can come too.)

4.5/5 stars


Where Are You Going I Just Collected Some Pellets is out now, released independantly, available on Bandcamp.

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