The following is a conversation between my girlfriend Veronica and I about local musician Casey Golden's first solo album, which is self-titled. Golden celebrates the release of his record at Club Congress on Friday, February 17 with opening acts Golden Boots, Jeff Lownsbury Sextet and Wild Mountain Roses. For more info, check out hotelcongress.com.
Me: Can I use your phone to write my article?
Veronica: Yeah. Who is this you're listening to?
Me: This is Casey Golden. He's a really nice guy. I've always liked him.
Veronica: Sounds like classic singer-songwriter stuff.
Me: What do you mean? The first couple of songs bear a slight resemblance to Modest Mouse in the singing, which is interesting because several musicians from Casey's generation in Tucson—who are between 23 and 28, say—have a similar thing going. It's almost whimsical, don't you think?
Veronica: Yeah! It's almost like if Marc Bolan would slow it down a lot.
Me: Yeah, that's true! That's a high compliment. He's reinventing zero wheels but really creating this fragile, ambient, warm atmosphere from song to song. I'm liking how the pace of the album is like waves rolling in but gently. This is definitely a quiet storm.
Veronica: That's nice, Josh. (Next song "Tell Them No" begins.) Ooh! A little alt-country from Casey Golden!
Me: I do think it's remarkable that he's putting all these kinds of music—country, Van Morrison-like combinations of jazz and folk and blues—there's even a song called "Gloria" where he singing about seeing the light of God, presumably. But all of these little genre changes have real continuity. He did a really good job but I think this album took a couple of years to make. I've been asking him to hear it since 2015. He's had a number of bands that I've really liked. There's one called the Night Collectors, who sounded like Spacemen 3 locked in a wind tunnel. Obviously I loved it but he seems to be able do any kind of music he wants really well.
Veronica: Obviously. There's nothing really I don't like about this. This whole thing is like a perfect Sunday morning. You know, it's not too heavy or depressing, but it's got this frailty and fragility that's—I was thinking that it's romantic but not even necessarily that. It's just very sweet sounding.
Me: I'm really getting into this. It's just like someone sighing over and over. And it really feels natural, like elemental. The drums are brushing along like leaves on a tree, there's this quiet guitar feedback that's like tropical rain, his voice sounds almost like the wind—sorry for sounding like a hippie.
Veronica: Don't be sorry.
Me: But it's totally non-aggressive, non-confrontational and almost church-like. Like a prayer, I guess.
Veronica: Like a prayer!
Me: Haha. Yes, but not that one. It's definitely far from screaming boy hyper-masculine rock music. And thank God for that. (Album ends.) That was really good!
Veronica: Yeah. Good job, Casey Golden! Is he playing this week?
Me: Funny you should ask. This album is finally being released this weekend at Club Congress on February 17.
Veronica: Let's go, well.
Me: What if I then ended this with "Actually, let's go back to bed?"
Veronica: Oh, lord.