The second LP from Manchester band Cassia sees them dipping their toes into greater lyrical depths and rockier and popier sounds than was heard on their previous album Replica, with a greater embracing of synths, most noticeably on the title track, 16-18 - Why You Lacking Energy? as well as songs such as Similar, which plays with a more bluesy and angular sound. For the most part, Cassia combines this new sonic exploration seamlessly with their more Afro-Caribbean sound that listeners are familiar with, though occasionally the record falls into the more generic, though still fun, realms of indie-pop.
This is an album as summery as it’s cover; however, this time Cassia’s Afro-Caribbean-via-Macclesfield sound has found greater nuance, with a reflective quality running through the generally sunny positivity of the album; which serves to make the record much more rounded than previous releases. The abstract lyricism and go-lucky, easy-going vibe of the band’s previous album, Replica, has shifted on Why You Lacking Energy: this band has got serious, talking more honestly and forthrightly than before, with the band leaning more heavily into nostalgia; creating a more balanced record that rests between care-free and contemplative. The record deals a lot with mental health, from the finely tuned balance of realism and positivity on the title track of the album (that brings to mind bands such as Easy Life or Half•alive) to Boundless in the centre of the album, which shows a new sensitivity to Cassia’s sonic arrangements. With its vocal harmonies reminiscent of Fleet Foxes, Boundless brings a gorgeous bittersweetness to balance out the record. See Myself closing the record feels like an exhale with its groove and expansive vocal delivery, providing a record that is equally escapist and cathartic with a perfect finale. This is a record to tell you life is going to be ok.
Why You Lacking Energy? is out now