Casey Album Review: ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’

 

The highly anticipated follow up to Welsh, melodic hardcore, five-piece Casey’s debut album ‘Love Is Not Enough’ was released 16th March 2018. ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ is a sophisticated melancholy sibling of their previous discography, that describes the harsh trauma that resonates through mental illness and is an example of distinct growth of musical and lyrical progress. Each song shares a different story and can be placed into your hands to sympathize with or relate to, although typical of Casey, this gift is not commonly displayed by bands of the similar genre.

Seconds into the album, the repetition of similar guitar strings in ‘Making Weight’ sets a melancholy tone that is exhibited throughout the album. The intro is a lugubrious response to the vocalists’ “depression and colitis” and touches on the important subject of being a male with mental illnesses, and how it prevented him from speaking up in his earlier years. This eerie spectre is soon replaced by the familiar aggression of guitar, bass and drums that Casey are best known for, during ‘Wavering’. Lyrics contain the self-questioning that accompanies depression and the sheer uncertainty of making it out of a situation alive. This similar song structure is additionally visible in ‘Phosphenes’, in the sense of Tom’s well-known screaming confronting a softer singing in regards to describing “years of isolation” and uncertainty of whether medication is helping in medicating his aches.

The fourth track ‘&’ is the first of three musical interludes, it displays an undertone that is reminiscent of a foreboding atmosphere that matches with the ominous tracks in the second section of the album. ‘Fluorescents’ was the first single released from the new album and is ultimately a white flag of surrender to the sentiments that coexist within mental health disorders. The soothing repetition of the beat of a drum for the duration of ‘Flowers by the Bed’ uncover Tom’s raw vulnerability and self-loathing in reference to how loved ones would view him during the lowest of his illness. The dependence on depression is also discussed when he mentions it being ‘”The only constant in my life” when he had no one else. If you were to listen to ‘Needlework’ in contrast to the rest of Casey’s discography, you could question it being the same band, but the underlying mesmeric lyrics that narrate the failure in a relationship, resonate with Casey’s debut album, a topic in which it was based on.

The second musical interlude from the album, ‘Morphine’ portrays a celestial ambience that perfectly fades and transitions into the third and final single of ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, ‘Bruise’. This song describes a topic that is rarely spoken about in regards to mental illnesses, the difficulty of new relationships when being ill. It describes the harsh reality and self-questioning of whether one is enough for love, a direct contrast on the title of Casey’s debut album. Following ‘Bruise’, is ‘The Funeral’, it is described as being one the bands favorite songs and, like the whole of the album, reflects on how depression affects daily life, through the use of sentimental metaphors and a powerful delivery through intimate screams. Again, this is also met through the new familiarity of Tom’s celestial voice that is conveyed during the chorus. ‘Where I Go When I Am

Sleeping’ is the final musical interlude and is used as a peace offering that grants safety through the use of the habitual guitar, bass and drum that is attached to Casey. Fundamentally, it prepares one for the intense emotions and raw amenability of the outro ‘Wound’.

As Casey have shown through their last album, they fail to disappoint when it comes to outros, and this is clearly displayed during ‘Wound’. The first few lines take us through the hostility and belligerence that have clearly resonated through Tom’s journey of health problems and growth of this album. The mournful monologue that follows the aggression, highlights the vulnerability and how viewing a situation from another person’s perspective can ultimately validate one’s existence, that was once not apparent. For me, ‘Wound’ fundamentally displays the hope that must be seen past a mental illness, and through the use of the manipulation of previous lyrics displays a personal, distinctive growth and desire to carry on, “In every way that I am weak, I am also strong. Learning how to speak gave me the strength to carry on.”

When reaching the end of the album, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of promise and hopefulness, despite the album being a difficult listen emotionally, the underlying theme is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Casey have yet again shown their strength as musicians and created a piece of poetic art that is nothing less than a masterpiece.

Words by Victoria Attridge-Smith

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