Ken Kase Releases New Self Titled Album 'Ken Kase'
Now based out of St. Louis, Missouri, Connecticut native Ken Kase boasts
a musically cosmopolitan identity that few peers or contemporaries
share. The vocal, songwriting, and multi-instrumental dimensions of his
skills spawned from a potent blend of popular music, jazz, and classical
influences with an emphasis on music education. Despite his obvious
chops, however, Kase’s songwriting never fails to establish an immediate
It's apparent on his self-titled solo debut. The five track EP filters
those aforementioned influences through a consciousness shaped by other
art forms such as writing, and photography, but other truths help shape
these songs as well. Kase is legally blind, and it touches his work in
After a professional and artistic lifetime playing in bands such as the
Groupers, The Ken Kase Group, power pop outfit The Sun Sawed in ½, and
recent projects such as The Birthday People, these five tracks are Ken
Kase’s most personal work yet.
The release begins in spectacular fashion with “Entitled”. This
impassioned pop-rock gem glows bright thanks to its deceptively
shambolic pace and assorted flourishes scattered throughout the
arrangement. Kase’s singing and harmony vocals are another strength as
well. His lyrics for the first track are inspired fare that listeners
may interpret in a variety of ways, but many will hear it as a
resounding statement of purpose kicking off the debut.
Kase’s “Entitled” makes colorful use of organ fills to flesh out the
performance and this carries over into the second song. Its presence is
more thoroughly integrated into the instrumental tapestry of “Cambrian
Explosion” and never as pronounced. It nevertheless complements the
lighter pop tendencies of this cut. “Cambrian Explosion” retains the
same sparkling vocal melodies and harmonies without retreading over the
prior track’s territory.
The rootsy vibe he achieves for “Philosophy Machine” is an unexpected
stylistic turn. Nevertheless, the energetic acoustic guitar playing, and
otherwise unvarnished sound of the song doesn’t veer so far outside
Kase’s skillset that it sounds alien in the context of this solo debut.
The EP’s single “Quality Control” is another surging guitar-fueled pop
rocker. It marries the vision of the opener and “Philosophy Machine” by
uniting his acoustic predilections with potent electric guitar
accompaniment and the arrangement’s airy fingerprints has a much lighter
overall touch than the earlier “Entitled”. His ear for entertaining
vocals remains as keen as ever.
“The Big Whatever” concludes this self-titled release with its most
soulful moment. Organ returns in a big way with this closer acting, in
essence, as Kase’s duet partner, and he likewise utilizes different
dynamics to compel the listener’s attention. The finale is far less
overtly busier than its predecessors and Kase, once again, lavishes a
lot of attention on the song’s vocals. It’s a fitting final curtain for
this brief yet powerful release. Ken Kase sounds like an artist hitting
his creative stride and it behooves any serious music fan to seek this