Casados is a Champaign-based husband-wife team that knows how to rock -- in an acoustic/harmonious/folky/guitar-and-harmonium sort of way. Methinks there's something rather mesmerizing about them and their music, particularly when the harmonium (a strangely erotic instrument ... perhaps because of its french and indian roots) kicks in. Live, Nic plays acoustic guitar and sings lead on most songs; Heather sings harmonies and plays mandolin and the now thrice-mentioned harmonium (they're frequently joined by friends playing accordion, slide guitar, etc.). And "live" happens quite often, as they've played almost 70 shows in the past year, in Chambana and the Midwest along with extended tours to both coasts. I was fortunate enough to catch them live at the Canopy Club in Urbana last weekend, where, due to an unfortunate booking that listed them as headliners but didn't have them playing until 1AM (after two very good bands and two highly mediocre bands), they were gracious enough to play for a bit even though there were only about six people still around, including myself, the bartender, and the sound guy. They played the songs off of their EP (released in early April), all of which I like very much, as well as a few brand new ones, including one about great-grandma that made my friend Dan weep silently in his whiskey. It was quite lovely to be serenaded with such personal and lovely music by two people who obviously enjoy their music and each other. Their music, particularly the harmonies, is just plain beautiful.
Here are two tracks from their five-track EP that I wish was much longer (though I don't hold it against them), Passages. Nic wrote all the songs on the EP, played a whole slew of instruments, and recorded it all himself in their home studio. They bill the album as the following, which I find to be quite intriguing: "Nic Dillon and Heather Dillon are in self-imposed exile. Tossing aside the respectable nine-to-fives, they've taken to the road on a Garfunklean journey to look for America. Passages is a documentary of the beginning of that journey and the people observed: five small lives of pain and change -- the wide-eyed drifter, the penitent divorcee, the dogmatic slacker. Five lives of quiet desperation, playing out their bit parts on a grand stage."
Casados - "Take It Slow" [MP3 (in a new window)]
Casados - "Twenty-four" [MP3 (in a new window)]
I'm really looking forward to the music these cats put out in the future. May Champaign-Urbana embrace you, Casados!
P.S. Casados is Spanish for "married".
Official Band Site | Buy the Album
MySpace (listen to "Panama" first)