“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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