After her autobiographical sophomore album Lil 5i5, released in the fall of last year, avant-garde singer Cassie Marin is following up with her newest single, “ptsd.” Always in constant reinvention, the LA-based multi-instrumentalist is once again exploring electropop, but with her own flair that distinguishes her from other contemporaries. Led by a vacillating synth progression, the electronic ambiance of the track sprawls into an industrial assembly of futuristic sounds surrounding Marin’s soft and gentle vocals.
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Unlike her previous songs, “ptsd” is far more abstract in its lyricism and musicality. Marin details what seems to be a metaphysical experience as if she herself were as much of a machine as the devices used to create the instrumental. She repeats “visual stimulation” throughout the song, hinting at a more expansive portrait beyond the electronic soundscapes. Eventually, the build up devolves into a dystopian breakdown, where a myriad of glitches and frenetic sounds fire from all directions. Marin herself disappears behind the walls of reverberating synths, creating a tight and compact track that is as much of an artistic feat as her previously released album.
The sprawling instrumental soon crashes into an abrupt ending, with Marin’s voice as the footnote to an experimental trip through her largely conceptual single. It comes as a gradual evolution marked by almost seven years of making music. And while she’s experimented with indietronica music for years now, this is the first time she’s shifted to musical and aesthetic change that closer resembles the industrial music of the 90s than current pop provocateurs of recent years. The darker atmosphere pays off, paving the way for a potentially new era for Marin and future releases.
Words: David Sosa
Listen to “ptsd” by Cassie Marin on all streaming services. For news on upcoming music and tour dates, follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her website.