CULTURE STREAM PHASE II: Sarah Cassidy
A new week has fallen upon us, and with it comes a new artist spotlight for the WIUX Culture Stream: Bloomington-based singer/songwriter Sarah Cassidy.
Cassidy is an upcoming Sophomore at IU studying voice at the Jacobs School of Music with an outside field study in Arts Management. Beyond her studious endeavors at University, she is independently curating her own professional music career – actively putting out new music onto streaming platforms and making her presence known with an artist website of her own. The credentials that she sports on her resume are impressive – they show off a long-running history of public performances, a background in dance, musical theatre experience, and a plethora of awards that very few people could match at the young age of 18. Cassidy is truly a Renaissance Woman with big talent and even bigger ambitions.
This past Friday, Cassidy treated the followers of WIUX to a beautifully edited video performance of her original acoustic music. This video has Cassidy switching between various intimate environments such as her front lawn and her bedroom as she transitions from song to song. On her website, she cites such musicians as Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell, and Jack Johnson as being major inspirations for her craft. The influence of these musicians can clearly be heard on the songs that she presents throughout this performance. Clever, emotional lyricism carried by Cassidy’s Soprano vocals is presented on top soulful guitar playing that sucks the listener into a world of reverie and introspection.
Cassidy opens her performance with “Firetower” – a song that immortalizes the small-town experience at its absolute best. This track, being very soft and reflective, recounts a day of Christmas shopping in Brown County that the artist shared with her dad. The next track, “Giraffes don’t get sad” showcases Cassidy’s commitment to variety as she breaks into a joyous, up-tempo section that adds an extra layer of dynamics to her set.
Perhaps the highlight of Cassidy’s set is her performance of “Small Town”. This track is currently the only one of hers that has been fully produced with a full band and released on major streaming platforms (With cover art inspired by Animal Crossing: New Horizons). As strong as the recorded version of the song is with the backing of a band, it is just as powerful as an acoustic piece at the hands of Cassidy in a solo setting. This is the type of song that can bring comfort to a lot of people who are struggling right now. COVID-19 has forced many people and students to move away from their work and studies for the sake of preserving public health. Many people have gone away to temporarily live with their parents until they can safely return to the homes that they are trying to build for themselves. If you are one of these people – maybe you are currently stuck living amidst an endless expanse of cornfields in Iowa, or trapped in an Illinois town of less than 500 people, sleeping in the twin bed of your childhood bedroom surrounded by trophies of forgotten high school sports tournaments alongside photographs of friends-gone-by – Then this song is your anthem. If you ache to once again set foot through the Sample Gates and wander the campus of IU, then this song epitomizes all of that frustration and anger that you may feel, while giving hope that this struggle will soon be over.
You can find Sarah Cassidy’s set archived on the WIUX Instagram page. The link to the performance, as well as those for Cassidy’s Instagram, Website, and Spotify, are linked below.
And don’t forget to donate! A random donor will be chosen at the end of Phase II to receive a free WIUX crewneck!
Tune in next week for a performance by Beanie
Homeless Black Trans Fund: