All it takes is 3 chords and a dream!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Review: Casey Desmond - Chilly Alston

Casey Desmond - Chilly Alston
2007, Casey Desmond

Casey Desmond is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist destined to be a household name. More than twenty-five songwriting awards and nominations fill her resume, and she's written and recorded with folks such as Tony Levin, William Ackerman (Windham Hill) and producer Anthony J Resta (Duran Duran, Collective Soul, Shawn Mullins). Desmond's latest EP, Chilly Alston is only four songs deep but runs the gamut of popular music.

Desmond opens with Chilly Alston, an upbeat bit of light dance pop that seems a likely commercial radio favorite but is probably the least memorable song offered here. Preacher Man is an intriguing and powerful song about an unexpected attraction to a man of the cloth. The narrator her decides she must have him, and he stands his ground saying, essentially, "only with a ring". Desmond descends into a fury of desire and lust in a gorgeous and sultry vocal performance that's perfectly balanced by the bluesy arrangement. The song is presented in a mix of electric and electronic instrumentation, but I would love to hear how it converts to a traditional Motown/R&B arrangement. Heavy Heavy Heart is a nuanced and mature song about poor self image/self worth. Desmond delivers a knockout vocal performance here flush with the reticent emotions the lyrics imply. Chilly Alston closes out with Any Wonder, a slow rock tune with baroque undertones. Desmond sounds like a cross between Tori Amos and Fiona Apple here and performs some absolutely chilling harmonies in the process.

With a voice like this, it's hard to understand how Casey Desmond isn't a household name already. Add in songwriting acumen beyond her years and you have a recipe for mass success, should the fates allow it. Either way, Chilly Allston is a stunning introduction to an artist I suspect we'll be hearing a lot from in the future. Make sure to spend some time with Casey Desmond, you'll be happy you did.

Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Casey Desmond at or You can purchase a download of Chilly Alston from iTunes. You may still be able to pick up a used copy of the CD on eBay or, but I believe its out of print.

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