Track by Track Fan Review of Ryan Cassata’s The Witches Made Me Do It

A track by track fan guide of Ryan Cassata’s most recent LP by Mylo Fisherman! 

Ryan is a singer-songwriter who grew up on Long Island. For him, growing up queer and Catholic there was a traumatic experience. This album, The Witches Made Me Do It, released on March 27th, 2020, reflects this and is an empowering and shows at the end of the day, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger as most of the songs are written about Ryan’s own self-growth from his past. 

“Bamboo Plants”

  This is the first song on the album and it sets the tone of the album really well. The upbeat instrumentation of this sets it up to be nice to listen to. The overall theme of this song is that things will work out in the end which is a beautiful and positive way to kick the album off.   

“Extended Vacation”

This is one of the more upbeat songs on the album. The drum kit is bouncy and keeps the listener wanting to move with the piece. My favorite part of this song that also shows this point is when Ryan repeats the lyric, “this one, this love,” which contributes to the song’s theme of love and gives the song this playful tone which makes this song enjoyable to listen to. 

“Catcher in the Rye”

When filming the music video for this song, Ryan decided to revisit his home town where he confronts his trauma. This song is relatable to listen to as someone who also grew up as queer on the Island, I can empathize with the feeling of othering that Ryan expresses in this song. The lyric, “Where do the queers go?” emphasizes this feeling as the instrumentation behind Ryan fades away and you get a clear listen of pure vocals. 

“The Witches Made Me Do It”

Ryan refers to his past problem with alcohol and drug use metaphorically throughout this song as “witches.” This song is slower-paced and starts off with piano and vocals. This is powerful because you can hear the strength in Ryan’s voice from all of the personal growth he has built up to overcome his “witches.” I love this song as it is so raw, it is extremely empowering to listen to as, like him, any of us can overcome something in our life if we find the strength to do so.

“Never Lied” 

The chorus starts off with Ryan singing about love and then he sings, “I guess we’re staying in tonight / we have to know it’s not our fight.” In both, the situation that this song was originally written about, the California wildfires, and the situation we are in right now, coronavirus pandemic, staying inside and not being able to physically meet up with our loved ones, as much as this hurts emotionally, it is the safest for everyone as it prevents the environmental situations we have no control over from endangering us. 

“Holy Holy Hold Me”

This song reflects Ryan growing up being Catholic while also still experiencing queer love. This song shows how queer love is something that is beautiful, rather than sinful.

It is the longest of the album but it is extremely captivating and keeps you listening to every second of it. The instrumentation in this song is absolutely gorgeous and it truly is a work of art.

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Photo by Avery Holliday

“Disguise”

This is the penultimate track on the album and it was a shorter, more upbeat, but still, slow-paced, version of “Holy Holy Hold Me.” This song is about the passion-filled, intimate side of love. It once again showed how queer love is something that is beautiful rather than sinful. 

“We’re Still Living”

This song was a perfect song to end the album on. The lyrics are sung softly over guitar. As the title suggests, no matter how much adversity one may face this song goes to show that “We’re still living,” which was a beautiful message to end this extremely raw album on.  

Stream Link: http://hyperurl.co/WitchesRyanCassata

All songs written by Ryan Cassata & Jeni McKenna. LP recorded, mixed and mastered by Jason Hiller. Lyrics can be found on Genius.

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Written by Mylo Fisherman, Instagram: @mfisherman_adelphi 

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