I want to be a companion to people processing stuff, and by doing that I want to be honest and vulnerable in whatever I’m processing
Born in the morning’s dewy warmth and quiet wonder, Casey Dubie’s sophomore album is a radiant record of reflection and connection: A set of candid conversations between artist and listener shining a light on life’s little moments, thoughts, and feelings that too often pass us by without a second glance. Taking a step back from the everyday herself, Dubie magnifies those ephemeral seconds, stopping the clocks just long enough for us to soak up the full scene and appreciate what it truly means to be present in our own bodies. Intimate, honest, and deeply vulnerable, Half-Hearted captures and distills stillness’ beauty in pools of refreshing sun-kissed indie pop.
It’s a special sonic space for all to dwell in the depths of experience; to press pause and reconnect not only with our surrounding, but also with ourselves.
Independently released April 15, 2022, Half-Hearted is an exciting return from singer/songwriter Casey Dubie, not to mention an immersive, mature, and compelling follow-up to 2018’s debut album Into the Moon.
“I wrote these songs in the summer of 2020 when the world was on pause and some things finally caught up to me,” Dubie tells Atwood Magazine. “I always find that when our surroundings grow quiet our insides get louder, asking for the attention they deserve. I was in Vermont at my family’s cabin that I grew up spending my summers at. I wrote every morning for a few hours and these songs were all written in the span of a month. It was an incredibly peaceful time for me writing these, where I gave myself permission to write with my editor brain turned off.”
“This record kind of started as a writing exercise,” she adds. “I was in a dry spell creatively and was scared I had nothing more to say or write. So I told myself, then just write bad songs. Every morning I sat on my porch and wrote whatever I felt like, without judging myself or the song. It’s funny that I still ended up writing my favorite one off the record first, ‘Invisible.’ But I think a lot of artists struggle with turning their editor side off, and this was that for me.”
I always find that when our surroundings grow quiet our insides get louder, asking for the attention they deserve.
We built a city out of sand, carving out our pillows, digging with our hands…
Born and raised outside Burlington, Vermont and now based in Nashville, Dubie has been a mainstay of Atwood Magazine‘s pages for quite some time. “A kindred spirit to emotionally intelligent rock/pop music makers like Phoebe Bridgers and HAIM, Casey Dubie injects purpose and depth into her songs,” we wrote in a 2018 premiere of her song, “Confetti,” further marveling at her natural ability to evoke a wide spectrum of emotion: “Joy and sadness sit side by side one another as Dubie weaves them together in tales of growing pains and truths learned along the way.”
That artistic spirit has grown bolder over recent years; Dubie’s latest material finds her diving deeper than ever into the moments that move us, and the qualities that make us human.
Dubie describes Half-Hearted as an honest, reflective stream-of-consciousness. “I feel like [the title] summarizes the honesty of the record and how I was feeling in general at the time,” she says. “I want to be a companion to people processing stuff, and by doing that I want to be honest and vulnerable in whatever I’m processing, and help people name stuff through my music.”
That level of wholehearted truth is evident right at the album’s start, with title track “Half-Hearted” setting the scene through lush, lilting melodies and an achingly expressive vocal performance that bears all: “I can’t forget what you said, that I’d given up before I started; that I’d given up before we started,” Dubie sings in a stirring chorus. She plunges into herself to retrieve these words and their underlying sentiments, and she won’t come back up for air for another six songs and 22 minutes.
Further highlights include the buoyant and grooving “Blue and Golden” – an invigorating, smile-inducing standout aglow with sweet, seductive harmonies and rich, Fleetwood Mac-esque soft rock sonics – as well as album singles “I Tried” and “Limbo,” with the latter proving an especially entrancing experience. Throughout “Limbo,” Dubie weaves a gently kaleidoscopic landscape out of glistening guitar riffs, moody piano chords, and a dynamic rhythm section that constantly pulses forward, musically and metaphorically pushing her onward. Atop this dulcet world of wonder rises her voice, a soft and radiant presence that captivates the ears and colors our emotional hues, connecting on that deeper level that so very few artists manage to achieve.
A sweetly stirring reckoning, “Limbo” reminds us that we’re not alone in our struggles – that everyone’s trying to untangle some kind of mess.
“This song features a lot of real memories from my life,” Dubie tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s largely processing a friendship of mine that feels like it’s in an in-between and trying to figure out how to feel about and navigate it. The verses reach back into the past and the chorus sits in the reality of where things are now — limbo. I thought it was cool to compare the relationship to the sky during sunset, sitting between day and night.”
“It’s one of my favorites on the record and sonically just feels super different and weird in a good way,” she adds. “I love how the verses and the chorus are in two different keys and I love the chaos and drama the brass and percussion bring at the end of the choruses. Life largely feels like it’s in limbo right now too, so even though this is me processing something very personal, I hope others can connect to it both on a personal level and the bigger picture of life right now.”
Staying on the topic of favorites, Dubie cites the stripped-down “Invisible” as a personal highlight. “I think ‘Invisible’ is most special to me because it was the first one I wrote after my dry spell and is a true stream of consciousness,” she reflects. “We also live tracked it in the studio, which I think captures the rawness of the song.
I just want to sit here in the doorway, watch the sun on the water sway like Christmas lights in June, and not think about you…
Casey Dubie has always approached her music with melodic passion and lyrical honesty, but Half-Hearted goes above and beyond in creating a space of tenderness, tranquility, and release.
“I hope listeners are given a safe space to process unprocessed feelings, feel seen, and hopefully even jam out,” Dubie shares. “Half-Hearted is a time capsule for me which is really special. I bottled up those porch mornings into a record.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Casey Dubie’s Half-Hearted with Atwood Magazine as the singer/songwriter goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore LP!
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