Casey Dubie has won a place in our hearts. Her music is aware of the battles of everyday life, while still, somehow, letting an unbeatable spirit of optimism shine through. While initially labeled under that great ubiquitous title of “singer-songwriter”, on her third Nashville produced EP Strangers, she has able to perhaps break out of labels and create something mature and whimsical. There is something refreshing happening on the four songs that make up the album. Mixed with percussive and electronic elements, she maintains her folk sensibilities and solid songwriting. Great artists can sing about their experiences while connecting and drawing listeners from across the musical spectrum to something deeper. Dubie is this brand of artist. Authentic and relevant, her songs play like the soundtrack of your burdens and successes.
“Motion Sick” plays to her strengths, and confidently breaks out of the folky title she formerly waved. “Even when I push you / even when I pull / you refuse to move” might be one of her more striking lyrics on the EP. This song beautifully captures the struggle to connect in a meaningful relationship. Her analogy of the month of June with snow is vivid, and perhaps a little more than possible in the Midwest. Her voice dips and sails in a way that illustrates her subject matter.
“Fugitive” handles the feeling of running with no particular direction in mind. Illustrating a soul without a home, she restlessly struggles with a life of constant movement, asking if she can ever break away from a road weary life. Anyone in their twenties can relate to the lyrical picture she paints in this one.
“Strangers” finds the artist in the shadow of a formerly deep connection. Dubie shows incredible vulnerability while she shares the blame in the wreckage that is left. The instrumentation is haunting and plays well with the seemingly doomed relationship. The bass is particularly striking as it builds to its inevitable climax.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this EP and it took a little time for me to truly appreciate it. However, once I focused on her sound and attempted to understand her rich songwriting, I was deeply moved. Perhaps I wrote her off as yet another pop/folk act, and this was incredibly unfair. Her music is wholly other. It is transformative and exactly the type of act we at Ear to the Ground will support to the grave.
Download her brilliant EP here.