Behind Beautiful Surrender

“Faded photos, reflections of her, who she used to be.” 

Los Angeles-based songwriter Cassie Brandi sings about letting go in the eponymous opening ballad of the new EP, Beautiful Surrender. It’s a familiar anthem, a hymn to the unknown, somewhere between where you’ve been and where you’re going next. 

Raised outside Boston, a lifelong love of music steered her toward Berklee College of Music. Her training was coupled with influence from the sass of Adele and Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey's emotional triumph, the cheeky writing of Sara Bareilles and classic Motown soul. 

She spent the following years as a vocalist travelling the world on the Holland America Line. Her debut EP, You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet was released in 2011 & she made the leap to Los Angeles shortly thereafter. 

The Beautiful Surrender EP was recorded with producer Will Gramling (touring band: Colbie Caillat, Cheyenne.) The success of a fully funded Kickstarter campaign reminded her of the support she had from family & friends, a particular kind of freedom that allowed her to pour herself into the songs. 

“Sometimes, I just start playing the piano and see what phrases or words come out and go with it,” she explained, “I've written songs I didn't know I wanted to write that way.” 

The EP dives into the theme of how love can make us feel: joy, pain, sadness, excitement, comfort & security. The song “Dangerous” examines the pain of being with the wrong person, while others are about finding the right one. In this case, that was her then-fiancé Jon, about whom she bubbled over in excitement after their engagement with, “In the Light of Your Love,” & penned a special kind of vow with, “I Do.” 

“It was a surprise for our wedding, so I had to make him leave the studio when we started to record that so he wouldn't hear it,” she recalled. “It didn't feel right to sing someone else's love song to him, so I wrote one.” 

It’s those moments that make Cassie Brandi’s music both deeply personal & undeniably attainable. Her spirit drives each song, all of which reflect the growth she’s experienced over the years. 

“I definitely second guess myself a lot less now. I focus more on how things make me feel rather than if they are perfect.”

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Cassie's thoughts on Beautiful Surrender... 

Man, I'm so excited for you to have this final copy in your hands I can hardly stand it. It's funny... taking on a project like this you tend to have expectations of what it's going to be like, how long it will take, what it will feel like, etc, but of course it never turns out like you think it will. 

As we dig deeper into 2016, I'm anticipating this EP to be released before the summer with the video release not too far behind that. We are turning the corner and the finish line is almost in sight. I'm so happy to hear the life these songs have been breathed into by the musicians that played on the tracks, Will's thoughtful production ideas and the patience God has given me to slow down and take a moment for my vocals to come together. 

With the title track on this EP to be Beautiful Surrender, I find it both very fitting and comforting to know that those two words have so much meaning to me every single day of my life. The more I try to control things the more God reveals that His plan is better than mine and to hang tight. Anything I could have dreamed of could not bring to me to where I am today. I constantly hand over my wants, wishes, regrets, hurts, dreams and idols and ask God to open my heart and show me what I need to do, who He wants me to be, understand that I won't always understand and to trust that everything will be okay in the end. It's a constant effort for me to surrender. My eager-to-please, overachiever heart who just wants to do what I want and work until I just can't take it anymore attitude gets to be too much ...but I've found when you do surrender and when it's with your whole heart, God WILL reveal himself to you...and it's just beautiful. 

I can't do this on my own despite the many times I've tried 

Thinking somehow I'm alone, giving way to my pride 

But I'm letting go, I'm letting go 

In a beautiful surrender 

I can't live this way, I won't run and hide 

Make me whole again, filled with love inside 

I won't turn away, I won't be the same 

Come wash over me, take away my pain 

Since February 2014, so many exciting events that have happened to remind me of the joy that we can have in this life and some devastatingly sad moments to remind me that this life is also filled with trials and the free will of others that we must reconcile with. I feel like the Cassie Lynne that approached you for support has grown both personally and musically to a new level and feel that the artist that finished these tracks is not the same. Thus said, you will be seeing new photos, a new look, new sound... and a new name, Cassie Brandi, on this new EP.

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