Welcome to the New Bands Panel, where our writers profile promising new artists on For Folk’s Sake’s radar. We want to know what you think of singer songwriter Johnno Casson’s new album – thoughts on twitter to @forfolkssake and @Snippetcuts please! You can catch Mr. Casson playing an album launch party at the Headgate Theatre in his native Essex on the 11th October.
Kathy Saunders: Window Shopping, released on Folkwit Records next month, is a quirky, and at times rather twee, coming-of-age record, full of mobile phones with no credit and a lot of warm odes to the ‘everyday’. It’s a heartfelt effort which, in itself, lends it a certain kind of charm. There are a few moments where it seems almost feasible that a member of The Inbetweeners made this album… but then that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Love Vibration is a particular highlight. It’s a twinkly, melodic little thing with a cracking brass section and some lo-fi moments that call to mind the likes of Perfume Genius and even Bon Iver. Other tracks such as Out of Credit and Forget it, however, are more banal with a lot of simplistic guitar riffs, what sounds like a Casio classic in the background, and lyrics including “you can stick it up your arse”. There is something to be said for his tongue-in-cheek slant on pop-folk though, Window Shopping is a record that’s will almost certainly provoke a smile at some point.
A few of the tracks talk about everyday life are, as I said, twee for the most part, but ultimately Casson is being very honest with his songwriting. At times accusatory, at others just admitting personal inadequacies or making the Shrek-like comparison between people and onions, it always comes across as genuine.
Window Shopping is a warm, friendly LP, created by a man who has openly admitted to working out of a shed. While it’s not perfect, this album has a heart the size of Essex.
Rosy Ross: Casson’s album ‘Window Shopping’ is a pleasant collection of tracks, guitar and vocals providing the backbone for every song. This is gentle folk; perhaps more pop than folk, that’s easy to listen to. However, I didn’t really warm to the lyrics, which seem a little clichéd in places.
‘Essex’ had some particularly annoying rhyming couplets, and could have been about any place really with two syllables in the name. It was quite unlike any of the trips and holidays I’ve had in the county anyway, and could have been spiced up a bit with humour or unusual observations, à la Darren Hayman.
Having said that, ‘Forget It’ was much more interesting, because it felt like Casson was delving further into his own personal experience to write the song; it seemed a more unique expression of the sort of bitter experiences we’ve all gone through, and I liked it for that.