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SINGLE REVIEW: Just a Dance by Casey Ahern

When Casey Ahern steps up to the mic, she doesn’t just belt out a soothing country croon – she takes us to wherever she’s at emotionally and makes it as real as is possible from within the four walls of a recording studio. Using descriptive poetry that transcends the normal limitations that a country songwriter would face, she brings us under the glaring lights of the dancefloor in “Just a Dance,” and over the course of a few minutes, infects every inch of our stereo speakers with a melancholic harmony that is startlingly reverent and not as depressive in tone as it might seem to be on paper. The narrative of this song is explained to us through her words and the melodies that skew them with a tremendous level of emotion, and no matter how many times I listen to it, I walk away with a slightly different perspective after each and every uninterrupted session. This is multi-interpretive music for a generation of country fans left unimpressed by the watered-down fodder of an artificial Nashville sound, and as of now, it’s taking America by storm.

Instead of hanging all of the instrumental ornamentation on one element of this single, every component of “Just a Dance” helps to construct the harmonies that, under the gentle brush of string play, form the framework for every magic moment we hear. Everything in this song was designed to stimulate our senses simultaneously; Ahern never neglects one element to strengthen another, but instead works to make every stitch of audio in this single as forceful and rich with vitality as it possibly could be. She isn’t leaning on familiar tricks too hard, but longtime listeners will definitely like the way that she’s sticking to her guns and avoiding the pitfalls of pop pandering. Though I might have encouraged her to go just a little harder after the verses in the latter portion of the song had I been inside the studio, her performance is almost flawless in this track, and it teases several conceptual components that, with any luck, will make an additional appearance on the next full-length album she decides to record.

URL: https://www.caseyahern.com/

I wasn’t regularly listening to Casey Ahern before hearing a pre-release copy of “Just a Dance” for myself at the behest of a friend in the business, but I must admit that I am going to be keeping tabs on what she does from here on out, in the studio and on the stage. It might be as slow as molasses, but the swing that this song was created out of is as addictive as an illegal narcotic, and perhaps twice as lethal to her less than laudable rivals in the Nashville, Bakersfield and Jacksonville country scenes in 2019. It’s been a year of constant cultivation and development for Casey Ahern, but if the harmonies of “Just a Dance” are a direct result of her hard artistic labor, I wouldn’t want to see her slow down the regimen anytime soon. There’s too much going for her right now, too much potential that is ready to be made the most of, for her to even think about stepping away from songwriting before the spring season is upon us once again.

by Bethany Page

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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