Terry De Castro

A Casa Verde

Image of Terry De Castro - A Casa Verde
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Terry de Castro (currently a member of The Wedding Present, ex-member of Goya Dress) takes a novel approach to her solo debut, "A Casa Verde", one that is especially charming, likable, and well, curious. She's chosen to take a wonderfully unusual course and recorded an album comprised entirely of cover versions, but these are not necessarily well-known songs by famous artists. Each song is a story unto itself, and all of the songs hang together in a vivid and illuminating way. Nationality comes into play here as well: "A Casa Verde" is replete with the intrinsically soothing and unmistakably American strains of steel guitar and banjo, among other instruments. De Castro's maturity as an artist is apparent from the first track, as she adapts "Dalliance" by The Wedding Present, readily making it her own by layering pedal-steel and acoustic guitars. It's a wry, subtly arch choice to launch this particular solo debut. In one of the album's highlights, de Castro strikes a darker tone with "East St. O'Neill" by Hank Starrs. With a deceptively languid start and sparkling imagery, it builds slowly, on a theme of murder and sorrow, rising on the strength of rousing chord changes that are disturbingly catchy, given the subject matter. As the record progresses, a rich array of styles and subjects take their spin across the dance floor. "The Sun Is Always Sweetest" by Dean Hawksley is a bittersweet Country-tinged waltz. Two tracks by Astrid Williamson; "Glorious" and "To Love You", are swirling torch songs. The authors also include Mike Chylinski (Drugstore), Simone White (Audi's 'Beep Beep' song), Johnny Daukes (Eurotrash), and Paul Hiraga (Downpilot). de Castro does an expert job of filtering their material through her own self-assured aesthetic, while directing an outstanding band in the process. "A Casa Verde" is an unpretentious, lovingly assembled pop record; a simple collection of songs. But as a project, the record hangs together in a positively conceptual way, one that vivifies Terry de Castro's life, and the lives of her friends.

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