On their studio debut album with Distiller Records, the Northern trio Cassia bring a cool flavour of anthemic indie music which sounds tailor made for a beach party. There’s a really refreshing attitude on Replica, something which sounds vibrant and colourful; this album was designed to brighten up pretty dreary days.
Cassia are a band I have the pleasure of knowing personally, I first discovered them on a Facebook video where they were performing Paradise Beach in 2016. I absolutely loved the quirky but bouncy chords of the track and felt like they could be a band destined for bigger things. Well, fast forward 18 months and they landed a record deal with Distiller Records, a label renowned for giving fresh acts a shot in the limelight. Cassia joined a roster that includes Anteros and The Ninth Wave as they set about working on a debut album.
Singles flew out in anticipation as they continued to tour round the country and build a cult following, with the wonderful 100 Times Over getting shoutouts from Radio 1’s Annie Mac and Radio X’s John Kennedy on it’s way to garnering over 2 million Spotify streams. The re-recorded version of that song has made it’s way onto this debut album alongside a host of other previously released singles.
The album itself sounds exactly how I wanted it to and more: it has a sweet serenity, an almost sugar-coated reality of love and life that gives Replica such a likeable aurora. The chorus melodies are catchy, particularly on the title track and Guidance; a track where frontman Rob Ellis sounds as vocally confident as he ever has before. Out of Her Mind is a bouncy anthem with passionate vocal delivery and very relatable lyrics, a theme which can be easily recognised throughout Replica. This will definitely be one of the project’s most distinguishing features, just how normal and understandable the topics are; meaning every single listener can take something from the songs and pinpoint it to an experience of their own.
Instrumentally this album shows just how hard the trio have worked on improvement as well as refining their sound. The brilliant Amazonian drum patterns on Movers & Shapers are matched with slick guitar chords that wouldn’t feel out of place on the speakers of a cool Caribbean beach shack. There’s also the infectious bass riff on Loosen Up which sets the tone for one of the better songs on the album, a guaranteed toe-tapper, head-swayer, hip-shaker; call it what you want as it is all of the above. The re-recorded version of 100 Times Over suits the general album style far more with more laid back deliveries while stile maintaining that suave attitude on the track.
While there is room for improvement here and there (something that will sort itself out over time through musical maturity), this is a truly solid debut record from a band who can feel very proud of their continuous rise. The stylistic choices on the album are intriguing, insightful and a whole lot of fun; channelling their early influences of math rock bands like Foals and Vampire Weekend to help shape their own musical personality. Make no bones about it, these guys aren’t pretenders and they sound like they’re here to stay. Congratulations to Rob, Lou and Jacob for this; a candid but bubbly album for the summer months.
Be sure to listen to Replica and support these guys here: https://open.spotify.com/album/1xZGNEKtr96frNsf9m9fGR?si=4WhSrgvHTlGLV5ZEsh6b2Q