Story and Photos by Mikayla Hart | Contributing Writer
Singer-songwriter, Cassie Joy, played with her band on Wednesday night at Middle Tennessee State University in the Keathley University Center Theater for this week’s Spare-hosted event, “Wednesday Night Live.” Spare hosts this event weekly, and features a revolving door of MTSU student artists.
To kick off the set, guitarist, Blake Burckhard, and drummer, Elijah Alexander, played a steady, synchronized rhythm as each band member came out on stage, one by one. Following Burckhard and Alexander were bassist, Oscar Dunn, guitarist, Seth Gunter, and finally, lead singer, Cassie Sistoso.
Once the band members were in place, they began the set with “Garden,” Cassie Joy’s first single, available to stream on all platforms.
Pulling inspiration from artists like Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and Dodie, Sistoso’s influences were immediately evident from her airy vocals and complex lyrics.
A few songs into the set, Sistoso introduced “Teeth,” a song that was born after Burckhard played around with different guitar pedals.
“I was like ‘Woah, maybe this isn’t my folk/acoustic era, and it’s my rock era’, so this is as close as I’ll get to my rock era,” said Sistoso.
“Teeth” appeared to be quite the crowd-pleaser as audience members nodded their heads to the beat while the band vibed together to stay balanced. The whole theater felt unified with high energy.
To follow, the band transitioned into a more sonically gentle, but lyrically emotional song about religious guilt.
“I don’t really think that I fit in with church and traditional values of how people see church, but I also don’t think I can fit out of it,” Sistoso said as she introduced the song.
The song will be part of Cassie Joy’s upcoming EP, “Those Whom I Have Loved.”
In an effort to transition into a more intimate setting, the band left the stage for a couple songs, leaving just Sistoso and her keyboard to connect with the audience.
“I’m still creating the song, figuring out the life that it has to live,” Sistoso shared, referencing her latest unreleased work.
As Sistoso sang, the audience was captivated by her moving lyrics and stripped back performance.
To close the set, the band came back on stage to join Sistoso for a song called “Feels Like This,” which reflects on the challenges that those closest to Sistoso, herself included, faced during the pandemic.
“Feels Like This” will be included and available to stream on Cassie Joy’s soon-to-be-released EP along with three other songs.
Follow Cassie Joy on Instagram and stream her music on any platform under the name “Cassie Joy.”
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