Southern California-based country singer songwriter Casey Ahern has just given listeners a gem of a song. Her latest single, “Bradley,” which came out on March 5th, is delightful, its verses and choruses shining with the importance of home. Equal parts dusty nostalgia and homespun charm, “Bradley” sways with country goodness, begging for repeated listens.
Last year, during perhaps the most challenging time ever for independent artists both emotionally and economically, Ahern, a flying enthusiast, remembered something one of her flight instructors once told her: “Your number one priority is to keep the plane flying no matter what distractions arise.”
Fueled by her trademark optimism, the rising country singer-songwriter kept her deep artistry flowing and connection to her fans thriving with two popular singles, monthly livestream shows, and key retail store placements. Building on that momentum, she hit the ground running in 2021 with “Bradley.”
Vents Magazine sat down with Ahern to talk about “Bradley” and to find out who that is, scored a few teasers about the forthcoming video for “Bradley,” and chatted about working with the Grammy-winning Buzz Brothers and how California has influenced the music Ahern makes.
Vents: Hi Casey, welcome to VENTS! How has 2021 been treating you so far?
Casey: Thank you! So far, 2021 has been pretty good! Spending a lot of time with the ones I love at the place I love gearing up for what’s to come this year music-wise.
Vents: You have a new single out March 5th named “Bradley.” At first, I wondered who Bradley was, but your press materials tell us that “Bradley” is actually a place. What can you tell us about this place and its significance to you?
Casey: So many people have asked me who Bradley is, ha ha! Growing up, our ranch in Bradley, CA has always been the one place where I feel like when I’m there, I don’t have to run. That I am completely in love with where I’m at. It’s 80 acres of natural land with a house that’s filled with so many memories made of when I was young and all the new ones I’m making today.
Vents: Did any events there in particular inspire you to write this song? What makes it special?
Casey: The inspiration for “Bradley” hit me when I was back in Los Angeles, driving and really missing the ranch. So I started to sing about it and record voice memo ideas on my phone. Every time I had to leave it to go back to the city, I would literally “break down and cry at just the thought of saying goodbye.” The ranch is so special to me because it was a dream come true for my family to own a piece of land, and growing up there influenced so much of who I am today.
Vents: Any plans to release a video for “Bradley”?
Casey: Yes! We filmed it on location at the ranch with a small crew of close friends and family, so it is very personal to me. My sister, Haley Ahern, has Refuse Reality Productions, so she directed it, and most of the activities in the video, such as riding horses and cloud watching, are what we normally do on the ranch. It was a labor of love for sure!
Vents: This was recorded in Nashville. Did you work on the song before the pandemic or during? What was the recording and writing process like? You worked with some top-notch Nashville musicians on this song, and it was produced by the Grammy-winning Buzz Brothers. How did you connect with the stellar players on the song and your production team? What do you think they brought to the song?
Casey: I wrote “Bradley” back in 2018 and just took key aspects of the ranch and personified them; for example, “I get lost on the roads inside your eyes.” Then I recorded it in 2019 at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville. Just being there in the studio with such inspiring, talented people felt like I was living a dream! I met Nathan Meckel and Mark Niemiec through my publicist, Jennifer Lyneis, of Ue3 Promotions, and they brought in the musicians on the track. I think everyone’s own unique ears and playing styles mixed together to create a really beautiful, country love song that sounds organic and as if we were playing it live.
Vents: You are from California. How do you think your home state has impacted the music that you make?
Casey: Everyone always asks me how I became such a big country music fan being from California, and I think it stemmed not only from my dad being a big Glen Campbell fan, but also growing up at the ranch, where a lot of the locals listen to country music. I also grew up listening to a lot of the ’70s singer-songwriters, which derived a lot from Laurel Canyon in California. Even just the memories made in California have definitely given me song ideas throughout the years, such as “Bradley.”
Vents: Who are your biggest music influences overall?
Casey: My biggest influences are probably Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, and Rascal Flatts, if I had to name a few. I listen to a lot of different types of music, everything from ’40s swing music to today’s mainstream country, so I think various aspects from each genre and artist have influenced my own sound and writing style.
Vents: This single is from a forthcoming EP, which is due out later this year. What can you tell us about it?
Casey: The title of my upcoming EP, Where I Run, is actually a lyric taken from the “Bradley” song: “to your arms is where I run.” Each song off of the EP has some sort of running action in it, whether it be to or from a place, person, or idea. “Bradley” is escaping to the place I love, its “arms” being inside the property lines of the ranch. Other tracks off the EP include “Sunday Driver” (running by driving the car), “Didn’t Even Get a Goodbye” (running from saying goodbye), and “Just a Dance” (running from a relationship).
Vents: What is next for Casey Ahern?
Casey: After “Bradley,” we’re looking at probably releasing another single off the Where I Run EP that we will take to radio, which is incredibly exciting! Following that up, will be the full EP release and then back into the studio to record brand new music!