We came across San Francisco singer/songwriter Kacey Johansing somewhat by accident. An indie singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has contributed to a few Bay Area musical outfits, Johansing's new album Many Seasons (June 15) might have slipped under our radar had it not been for a friend of a friend who -- thankfully -- passed on the link to us. Sophisticated folk pop that also exposes some subtle jazz vocal tones, this is a promising debut that's all about small emotional gestures and pleasures that seem to hide in the shadows, visible but just of reach.
Rhythms skip and shuffle on Seasons with a gentle lilt, the instrumentation is reserved and the overall atmosphere is one of hushed quarters and softly sung melodies. Emotions are revealed slowly as the music ebbs and flows just this side of a jazzy cabaret standard. Johansings' voice is a wonder of sweetly tuned restraint, taking pulsing ballads like "Sleepwalk" or the flickering shuffle of "Angel Island" and detailing them with intricate impressionistic brushstrokes. The chamber-pop delicacy of the title track blossoms into a wonder of ringing guitar lines, deceptively complex time signatures and orchestrated string highlights. Never loud or demanding, Many Seasons is more like a knowing glance or insistent tug on the sleeve, letting you know in measured tones that this is music worth experiencing Recommended.
Kasey Johansing - "Angel Island" (from the album Many Seasons)
Kasey Johansing - "Many Seasons" (from the album Many Seasons)