It's said that the best songwriters capture the human spirit in a way that's unique yet universal, without resorting to clichs or pretentious gestures. That certainly goes for Casey Reid, whose patchwork blues and junkyard folk tunes hit the musical sweet spot. A wizened old soul fond of Beck and Tom Waits, Reid released his debut, Cephalclog
, this year. It's an album whose impact is felt via the heart, not the head. Ghostly vocals, barnstorming guitar and a vast array of orchestral touchesamong them, brittle cello and found-sound percussioncombine to create an aural experience that's a throwback to simpler days. But what makes Reid's songs so special is their humanity. Whether brimming with sorrow or rife with joy, they're always infused with unwavering passion and near-limitless empathy.