Casket Cassette, the brainchild of Constant Williams, a native of Los Angeles and a multifaceted artist combining music and poetry, mirrors the city’s stark contrast between industrial grit and perpetual sunshine. This solo venture encapsulates a juxtaposition of euphoria and melancholy, conveying existential despair with a contemporary twist on the synthetic, brooding sounds of the 1980s.
The album lurches forward with the haunting Lust, a foreboding, rapidly echoing composition. It delves into the inexplicable, profound connection between two strangers who share an undeniable need for one another. Amidst a backdrop of darkness, they discover solace in each other’s presence, believing their bond can alleviate their melancholy. Symbiosis follows, which portrays a relationship marred by strife and disintegration. The metaphor of cellular division and parasitic attributes underscores the corrosive nature of their union. Despite the pain and uncertainty, an insatiable desire for intimacy persists. Nevertheless, it becomes evident that harmony and love elude this relationship, culminating in a grim and tumultuous outcome.
Continuing the theme of desolation, the third track, Crying In The Club, yearns for solace within the embrace of another, longing for a fleeting rekindling of vitality. The club offers a brief respite, a temporary reprieve from life’s tribulations. An undercurrent of despair and apprehension about the unknown future remains omnipresent, however. Catharsis is fleeting, but poignant. Anybody emerges as a captivating love song, celebrating the profound joy, exhilaration, and genuine reciprocity brought into the narrator’s life by this cherished individual.
Drown conveys a sense of longing and desire for more in life; wanting it immediately, yet feeling overwhelmed and drowning in perpetual pursuit. They seek solace and connection to hold onto what they desire. Despite the cold and loneliness, they find refuge in their own way. The haunting, echoing vocals bring a rich pathos to the message of the lyrics.
Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon, intricately unfolds against a World War II backdrop, featuring a diverse ensemble of characters. The narrative delves into the ramifications of technology, power dynamics, and human survival amidst chaos. Its enigmatic title alludes to the capriciousness of rocket paths. In a parallel context, Casket Cassette invokes this theme, likening the unpredictability of romantic entanglements in their standout track, Gravity. The haunting echoes of bygone moments persist, emphasizing the challenge of mending a fractured relationship.
The sensuous, romantic Slowdance conveys a yearning for a simple yet profound connection through the magic of dance. The goth-tinged titular song, Love Letters To Ghosts, mourns the absence of someone who once found beauty in brokenness. They write letters and hope for a connection beyond life’s end, raising unanswered questions about the afterlife and the enduring impact of love. A Way Out expresses a desire to help and find a way out of a difficult situation for someone in trouble. Weatherhead takes a cue from Vangelis and takes us to the outro with a beautiful, emotional song of forgiveness, acceptance, and bittersweet nostalgia.
Listen to Love Letters to Ghosts below:
The moniker, Casket Cassette, finds its origins in a childhood memory etched in Williams’ mind: his father recording a live song onto a cassette tape, which was then placed into his grandfather’s casket as it descended into the earth. Williams’ lyrical compositions frequently delve into equally solemn subjects, including mental health struggles, bereavement, heartache, addiction, and recovery. Amidst these themes, there are glimpses of hope, humour, and an unwavering determination to surmount adversity.
Constant Williams divides his time between the vibrant streets of Los Angeles, California, and the intellectual haven of Iowa City, Iowa, where he is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the esteemed Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
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