Aidan Casserly — Ballads Of Sorrow (SA136)

01. World Will Kill [feat. Kriistal Ann]
02. Slip Away
03. Tender Stars
04. The Dead Bell
05. Boy Song
06. Steal For Love
07. Ruby
08. The Sign Before
09. Pins To Close
10. Open Velvet Mornings

Review from Bodystyler

‘Ballads Of Sorrow’ is the latest album by Aidan Casserly (Empire State Human & KuBO). Showcasing an intimate, electronic collection of songs, written and produced by the Dublin/Ireland based and Empire State Human creative stalwart and lead singer.

10 songs of complexity and of sensuality, with many of the trademark electronic pulses, layers and textures, beneath the angelic voice of one of the most highly regarded vocalists in the modern synth era. Paradox Obscur’s Kriistal Ann, joins Aidan on the sensual and Darkwave/electro opener, ‘World Will Kill’, a song according to Aidan is about, ‘”The complex and ever present battle in contemporary life, between the artist and how society treats them and its desire to kill the artist and stop creativity as a life force. No better artist to join me in this battle and life, is Kriistal Ann, with whom I am eternally linked with through the creative strings of beauty.”
On top of the electronic beats and waves, there is saxophone, guitars and vocal layers. Aidan’s tribute song to Billy Mackenzie (The Associates), a singer that Aidan is directly linked artistically to by his own unique style and lyrical range, is a classic cinematic/electronic opus, about the loss through suicide of a fantastic talent in Billy Mackenzie.
There’s a nod to Roxy Music on the tantalizing ‘The Sign Before’, a rich opus to reunited love and energy. Which leads to the self analyzing ‘Pins To Close’, a near burnt out of sorrow and hope.
The album closes in true filmic fashion with ‘Open Velvet Mornings’, which fuses Scott Walker, The Velvet Underground, delivering a quirky and memorable end.
To quote Aidan himself. “I wanted to make an album that was a journey through the sorrows of the human condition, but without succumbing to a sense of giving up. It in many ways reminds me of a boxing match, each song is the round and the grueling end result is a split decision win. To help me with this musical journey I was joined by Maurizio Pustianaz who mastered it with such care and attention, and to Caesar Gergess who created such a thought provoking artwork design, around my own photography. I am indebted to them and to Vladimir at ScentAir for realizing this album on its merits, its complexity and its beauty and for releasing it on CD in 2020.”