Casey Noel of Greenboro, North Carolina dropped her debut EP in July and since its been doing the rounds its been described as everything from Americana to “swampy folk”. However you describe it Casey’s first EP certainly leaves an impression. Casey Noel’s Debut EP Not Just Pretty Words showcases Casey’s feel for folk, country and Americana styles although she hesitates to pigeon-hole her music into any one particular genre. Casey’s distinctive twang, ethereal vocals and effortless guitar picking give a smooth, mellow feel across the EP.
Casey sites her musical influences as including a large range of artists from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Adele. Casey trained in classical Spanish guitar from an early age and honed her songwriting and performance skills through college.
The EP takes us on a journey through various moods and themes from the light uplifting acoustic vibe but damning lyrics of Pretty Words, to the beautifully haunting Marsh Girl with its eerie low bowed bass, reverb effects and lyrics paying tribute to the marshlands of Carolina based around Delia Owens 2018 novel ‘Where the Crawdad Sings’.
In Prove Me Wrong, Casey then shares the reservations of a new relationship, doubting the commitment of the new guy to see it through the ups and downs, the singers previous hurt clouding her confidence in the new guy but willing it to work.
The Hang Up describes being hung up on someone you thought you were and feel you should be over. Mason Via lends his electric guitar skills to Casey’s melodies giving this track a modern but laid-back emotive vibe.
You and Me gives us an upbeat track celebrating the feeling of completeness when a relationship works
“I like the sound of you and me, my favourite little melody,
you’re the song I always want to sing always in my memories”
This track is beautifully punctuated by the addition of the fiddle and harmonies of Libby Rodenbough of the highly acclaimed group, Mipso.
Finally, Seasons brings the EP to a close with a mature and heartfelt retelling of the theme of “this too will pass”. Reminiscent in its writing of a classic Dolly Parton
“It’s just a season and seasons change
and the most growth come with the hardest rains
it’ll be ok so they say –
and I guess these are just growing pains but they go away”
Not Just Pretty Words bounces lightly through its track list with a mix of traditional and contemporary sounds brought together with the production of Doug Williams. Casey’s distinctive songwriting and vocals is a delight to the ear. A good account of Casey’s artist journey so far, this debut EP is one to be proud of and definitely Not Just Pretty Words.
In the chaos that is 2020 Casey will be attempting a live full band celebration of the launch of her EP at The Blind Tiger in her hometown Greenboro, NC on Thursday 13th August 2020. Check out her socials for more info over the summer and enjoy this very special EP.
The Hang Up
Prove Me Wrong
You and Me
Reviewed by Ann Kenney twitter.com/annkenneysongs