Indie Troubadour Cass McCombs To Bring His Shadowy Pop To Madison + Free MP3 Download

Cass McCombs

Subtle is a good word to describe Cass McCombs. His songs never attempt to knock you flat. He has no intentions of blowing you down with a wall of music. His genius lies in the empty space and delicate production. There’s a timeless feeling to his sound, as his music drips with the sugary pop of the 60s and 70s, while retaining an edge that seems dark—though not altogether humorless. His shimmering voice always seems to find just the right pitch to spill through.

Surprisingly little is known about the enigmatic songwriter, even though his steady output has seen his popularity rise tremendously over the last few years. Cass McCombs is a musical nomad. Having toured around towns all over the United States and Europe it’s surprising his music isn’t more varied.

The story of Cass McCombs reads like a Woody Guthrie bio. He’s been known to traipse across the United States, enlisting musicians along the way, never lingering for too long in one place. After stints in Chicago, Baltimore, Europe, and elsewhere, Cass migrated back to his native California to settle in on a set of new albums.

Last year was big for Cass McCombs. It saw the release of two markedly different albums, which were both well received in the music press. The first, Wit’s End (sic), is tinged with a chamber pop sound. Deep keyboards set a tone not far from an A.M. 70s radio hit. Throughout the album, the thread remains, with trademark sluggish pace and minimal production. It’s a beautiful exercise in restraint and showcases the songwriter on top of his game.


FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD:  Cass McCombs – “Bradley Manning”


Humor Risk, however, takes off with a remarkably different tone. At times the record borders on pure rock, with songs like “Love Thine Enemy” and “Mystery Mail” picking up the pace and even dipping the guitars in a bit of distortion. That’s not to say that it is without its trademark Cass McCombs elements. “To Every Man His Chimera” breaks the album nicely, slowing the tempo without slowing the pace of the album.

There are parts of Cass’s sound that you can rely on: the crawling pace that leaves you aching for each beautiful beat, the airy space in between every note, his voice releasing just enough emotion to keep you compelled. Every beat is earned, every crashing of the snare drum—often long intervals—marching toward that thrilling finish. The reverb-laden guitars seem more than content to stay confined in the slow tempo. Known for his haunting live shows, Cass McCombs’ Madison performance promises to be a memorable event, especially in a venue as intimate as the High Noon Saloon.   Pick up your tickets to see him take the stage on Monday, January 30 along with opener Frank Fairfield here.

—Ross Martin

*Visit our Facebook Page this Saturday, January 28 to enter to win a pair of tickets to the show! Additionally, our friends over at Playground Misnomer are giving away tickets right now!  Click here to see how you could win.*


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2 Responses

  1. I love Cass and I’m raelly glad to see he’s doing great. Too bad we don’t hear a lot from him in Europe !

  2. […] Content:  Indie Troubadour Cass McCombs To Bring His Shadowy Pop To Madison + Free MP3 Download Share […]

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