Friday, June 22, 2012

HEAR THIS: Cassie Gets 'Shifty'

Oh, Cassie...

The name Cassie Steele may be a little unfamiliar to you if you weren't like moi -- glued to Teen Nick watching the Canadian teen drama "Degrassi: The Next Generation" shamelessly a few years back.

Cassie played Manny Santos, the requisite hyper innocent "romantic" turned wolfish hussy you loved to hate for ten whole seasons (and two TV movies) on the guilty pleasure hit before taking a cue from some of her fomer cast mates and heading south to the States for a leading role in "The L.A. Complex", a hyper-sexualized teen drama series on the CW (Nina Dobrev plays the central female role in "The Vampire Diaries" and Shenae Grimes is pivital on the "90210" revamp -- both ladies were "heavily" featured in the large ensemble cast at "Degrassi").

Along with her acting talents, Cassie is also an burgeoning musical tour de force, releasing her debut album How Much For Happy in 2005 during one of "Degrassi"s first peaks. In 2009, she followed it up with the excellent Destructo Doll (singles "Mr. Colson" and "Go Dark" are must listens; I also enjoy "Monster", "Check It" and especially "Hollywood"), a raucuous jaunt of Hollywood, sex, drugs and rock & roll -- not too far of a cry from her character on the show at that point. However -- don't be too quick to write Cassie off as a string-puller getting a record deal from a hit show. Both records were released independantly and almost all of the material was written by Cassie herself.

If you were expecting some stomping electro dance floor beats through AutoTune, perhaps you should try a different post here at Melismatic. Cassie's music has always stood out for its tough exterior, more along the lines of a sexed up Skye Sweetnam or Fefe Dobson (both, coincidentally, Canadian).

With her re-emergence on "The L.A. Complex", this past April Cassie released a new EP, Shifty, consisting of three tunes -- including the excellent "Shape Shifter." Shifty itself holds a central theme of the life cycle of a relationpship, occasionally using supernatural metaphors to describe lust ("Shape Shifter" - the seduction; "I Want You" - the romance; "Try Baby" - the fallout).

"Shape Shifter" is no doubt my favorite, mostly because it's the dark, snarky Cassie I've come to adore so much through Destructo Doll. The song is highlighted by wolf whistles (Get it? Shape Shifter?), slightly dubsteppy wob wobs and electric guitar and is proof positive of Cassie's penchant for catchy hooks. With each subsequent release, Cassie just gets leaner, meaner and better with age. Dig.

Shifty is available for purchase on iTunes (yes, even in America) and on Spotify (yes, in the US).

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