According to Casey Donovan, “music is a universal language”. If that’s true, then Casey’s new EP has a hell of a lot of different accents, as she showcases extreme versatility.
After months in the studio, disrupted briefly by a stint in the jungle, Casey Donovan is beyond beside herself that the moment of her EP release has finally come. “It’s finally here! And it’s all my original music!”
Donovan has worked hard to deliver on the vision she pledged on her Kickstarter way back in September last year, the funding of which allowed her to put together the EP. “I achieved what I set out to achieve, and now I have six great tracks that I’m very proud of.” Casey sounds chuffed, and so she should be, as not only do all the tracks carry some really profound messages, but each tune is totally different – offering the listener a vibrant and bounding ride.
“I started writing this EP from a blank canvas, and my intention was to revert back to what started my career in the first place, and that was writing music. Some days and nights we just sat there in the room and just strummed the guitar, or fiddled around on the keys just to get something happening. Once the ball was in motion we sort of fell into a nice rhythm – we took it day by day,” she says.
“It was a fun process, I didn’t have anyone in my ear telling me what I should do, how I should do it, how the song should go – I had free rein, and it was so nice! I had to keep reminding myself that I had that option of freedom. That freedom led us to some pretty magical tracks.”
And Casey’s freedom to roam the musical climate is clear, as each song is daringly different. Richly infused with a huge range of instrumentals, including some rap and didgeridoo, the six tracks are certainly the product of an artist returning to her outlet with wild abandonment.
On her debut single ‘Lonely’, written in the early hours of the morning, Casey gives an honest account of unrequited and confusing love, and allows her “heart to bleed into the song.” This is not the only time she confronts vulnerability, as the following tracks, White Dragon, delves into love addiction, and The Villain explores dealing with anxiety, to which Casey has received some great feedback.
“It’s an eye opener – to have a song that I have written impact people. When I do my live gigs, I like to tell people what the song is about, and the struggles I have had to overcome and face, to get up on the stage and some days just to get out of bed,” she says, “So it’s nice to have a song that’s open and honest. And it’s so relevant in today’s time that we still write music that has messages to it – it’s not always about shaking your ass, or getting drunk on the weekend!
“Although it’s fun, I want to get more personal with my songs and write from the heart, and it’s great for the soul to belt out a song in the car when you’re having a shit day!”
There are some RnB vibes on the track Rendezvous, which Casey admits was ‘fun to write’- “I’ve never really done indie RnB before, I thought let’s give it a crack, why not?”
Hear me Now is the belter of the EP, haunting with an ‘earthy eery tone to it, very cinematic.’ 5 o’clock Dance rounds up the tracks, ending the EP with a surprisingly upbeat country/folk sound. “I wanted to challenge myself to write something that has a really good beat and makes you feel good and just want to get out there and dance – I wanted a celebratory track.”
The versatility is immense, and it is very clear that some creative freedom and a bit of late night guitar works very well for the returning musician. It’s certain we will be seeing more of her as a future album is on the cards, and her national tour approaches. A lot is happening for the songstress. “I’m very very busy. It’s great to be busy. I’m fortunate to be busy in this long 13 years in this career, so it’s great!”
Release: Off the Grid & Somewhere In Between is out now.
Written by Megan McNeel