We are all about Casey. Hopefully, you are too.
A phosphene is, aside from being a really odd word to say aloud, a ring or “spot” of light produced by pressure on the eyeball or by direct stimulation of your eyes from something other than light. This idea of an absence of light or perhaps even the false creation and the mere perception of light amongst ensnaring darkness seems to be at the emotional core of Casey’s upcoming second record, ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’; that feeling of trying to grab onto any sense of escapism to remove the threat of lingering death and pain, even if it’s not truly there.
Whether it’s fighting with insomnia and longing for sleep, everyday battles of physical sickness and one’s own deteriorating mental health, the pain brought on by the thoughts of an old lover or even the constant struggle with a current partner; Casey’s lyrics can be scarily relatable, poetic in design, and brutally honest. A perfect example of this is “And it seems the only solace I’m afforded is now instead of wanting to kill myself I just sleep/ I guess progress really isn’t what I thought it would be“, and “My dichotomy has always been that I’m scared of burdening those who love me, but knowing I need help before I die afraid and lonely/But maybe it’s all in my head“, both taken from ‘Phosphenes‘.
Now, Casey’s music has always been very dark in content and even heavier in its emotional tone and that’s (somehow) gone one step further with ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, out March 16th via Rise and Hassle Records. Like the rest of the U.K. band’s releases, this record is set to be a deeply personal journey – and that’s me putting it lightly – through the physical afflictions and unfortunate events that have plagued vocalist Tom Weaver has endured for most of his life. The vocalist recently explained in a statement stating as much, saying:
“I was diagnosed with brittle bones at birth, and when I was 15 I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and at 20 I was diagnosed with manic depression. I’ve also had a heart attack and a stroke and I was in this crazy car accident that crushed half my face. They’re big life events, but a lot of the stuff that’s happened to me medically was stuff that I was just living through at the time. Looking back now, though, I realise I could have died four or five times. I’m lucky to be here“.
Of course, the very same lyrical depth also applies to their layered, atmospheric post-hardcore/melodic hardcore sound too. Recorded over at rural Wales’ illustrious Monnow Valley Studios and produced by Brad Wood (who has worked with Placebo, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Touché Amoré, among others), this album takes the next logical step forward from their solid debut LP, 2016’s ‘Love Is Not Enough‘.
The riffs are better, the melodies overall are stronger, the vocals carry far more weight on all fronts, the production is natural and more inviting, and everything is more memorable all-around. On the band’s two new inter-connected singles, ‘Fluorescents’ and ‘Phosphenes’ (found below), the lighter melodic shades of their atmospheric moments, warm ambient guitars and melancholic clean vocals resonate stronger than ever before. Whereas the heavier hardcore-bred sections still hit damned hard, all driven along by the gut-wrenching screams and deep roars of Weaver, whose vocals which have never sounded this goddamned pained and indomitable. (I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the very real physical pain of his various conditions impacted his vocals when tracking this new record too).
You can clearly see both of these opposite extremes of the band’s music unfold before you on both ‘Fluorescents’ and ‘Phosphenes’; already two of the band’s strongest creations yet. I think it’s safe to say that Casey really are blossoming into their own lately. Huh, and just when I thought this stellar band couldn’t get any fucking better.
Be about it.