Cassie Boettcher’s brand new EP More Than That brilliantly utilizes the opportunity to introduce an artist with a genuine, inherent connection to the music she makes. The calming, country-folk tones of He Feels kick the project off in a heart-warming way, setting the bar high in terms of the melody, the crisp presentation, and Cassie’s own emotional yet flawless leading voice. Following this, the softness of an acoustic guitar continues to guide you through the collection, and the songs reach out to connect all the more memorably.
Someone Else Was Here appears as a mildly familiar pop classic – a gentle ballad with a similar sense of realness and honesty to the opener. The subject matter is relatable, it means something very real, but it’s been approached in an accessible and fairly laid-back manner. The simple movement of the music, the rhythm, the subtly rising level of energy – it all satisfies and comforts in a wonderful way. The sound and style of the writing is classically authentic, rooted in the organic songwriting from a simpler time, yet clearly conceptually linked to the artist at hand – adding originality and freshness to the journey.
These five songs in full make for a blissfully calming playlist to escape among at the end of a long week. Wasting Away is a personal favourite, a sense of progression emerges, with a contrasting descending melody-line and some notably scene-setting lyrics. The rise up to the hook is beautiful, the song uplifts you with it, and the whole thing moves from minimalist and somewhat optimistic, to heartbreaking; the perfect sort of track to turn to during times of deep reflection and isolation.
Song For Lucas continues the story-telling aspect and perhaps captivates all the more-so than anything from before. Cassie’s voice takes on that of a story-teller, somewhat clearer, a little more Americana-soaked. Again, a subtle but effective build-up is all that’s needed to see this song through to its finish in an enjoyable manner.
The final song on the project is a completely unexpected take on a classic that hasn’t reappeared for many years. …Baby One More Time emerges as something else entirely here. You almost don’t recognise the song. Cassie’s acoustic delivery has a certain purity and even poignancy that wasn’t necessarily a stand-out element from the original. The song sounds beautiful, smile-inducing for its familiarity, but soon becoming a whole new experience that’s a pleasure to have play for you. The country twang and the passion that Cassie injects into the delivery work gorgeously. A great way to end the EP, and a final hit of memorable character that will hopefully let the name Cassie Boettcher ring loud for quite some time.