• Bryon Harris

Casey Ahern – ‘Just a Dance’

Casey Ahern is a twenty-year-old singer-songwriter based in Southern California. At seventeen, she moved on a whim to study for a semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Following her time at Berklee, she headed back to California for a few months and then hightailed it for a four-month stay in Nashville, where she played open mics at the Bluebird Café and Douglas Corner Café and co-wrote songs with various Music City musicians. Over the past few years, Ahern and her band have built a loyal, continuously growing following with rousing performances at L.A. hotspots like The Mint and The Viper Room. Ahern, who has been performing consistently with her band since she was 16, defines herself as a contemporary country artist.

“Just a Dance” is the lead single off Ahern’s latest EP 'Where I Run,' the highly anticipated follow-up to 'He Was Summer' (2018). A wistful ballad, the song is about a dance with a stranger leading to doubts about a relationship. The intro immediately catches the listener’s attention with a clever hook played on baritone guitar, supported by fiddle and acoustic guitar.

Ahern’s angelic vocals enter on the first verse, also accompanied by acoustic guitar and fiddle. Tastefully played harmonics on the baritone are sprinkled throughout to add color. A cymbal swell guides the listener into an interlude, where the baritone hook now joined by bass and drums is re-stated, followed by the second verse.

In the second verse, the acoustic guitar, now doubled, remains the driving force behind the groove, with the bass and drums keeping time, and adding color. Well placed baritone fills and beautifully played fiddle counter-melodies add melodic interest, and effectively support Ahern’s vocals. In the following interlude, the baritone hook is re-stated again, this time doubled by the fiddle before the two parts diverge allowing the arrangement to grow, and guide the listener into the bridge.

The song reaches a dynamic climax in the bridge, carried by Ahern’s stellar vocals and the fiddle counter-melody before returning to one more interlude, a partial verse, and tapering off. This is a song that is well composed from the first note to the last.

With “Just a Dance,” Casey Ahern demonstrates that she is an artist and songwriter capable of delivering high quality work consistently. It is clear that she has put in the time to hone her craft, and has a unique sound within the contemporary country genre to show for it. Props to producers Nathan Meckel, and Mark Niemiec, and the Nashville studio cats who played on 'Where I Run' on a job well done.

For more information about Casey Ahern, please visit her website

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