If anyone can refine being ramshackle, it’s Cassie Ramone. The singer/guitarist for the now-defunct Vivian Girls kept ably refracting ’60s girl group mannerisms through post-Velvet Underground aloofness in the Babies, her band with Woods bassist Kevin Morby, while her bandmates ventured out into self-described “Lesley Gore fronting Black Flag” (Katy Goodman with La Sera) and terse pop-punk (Ali Koehler with Upset). But by the Babies’ 2012 effort Our House on the Hill, Morby was doing most of the singing, and now the premiere of Ramone’s first proper solo track makes all that seem more like something she was doing in between her breakout band and this.
“Hanging On” (via Pitchfork) carries the same sense of casual looseness as classic Vivian Girls, but in a much softer, spacier context; the press materials cite cult folk singer Karen Dalton as an inspiration. Ramone’s vocal finds a middle way between twee-pop sensitivity and that Andy Warhol deadpan, and the mix of fragile strums and reverberant tambourine evokes, say, Deerhunter/Atlas Sound at their gentlest. Or, for that matter, like-minded bedroom-pop obsessive Ariel Pink, who wrote the following press bio for — and plays bass on — Ramone’s upcoming debut album, The Time Has Come, due out August 26 via Loglady:
This is Cassie’s first record. She used to sing and play guitar in Vivian Girls. She recorded these songs by herself over the last year or so. She hopes you like the record. Goodbye.
Cassie Ramone, The Time Has Come (Loglady, August 26)
1. Song of Love
2. The Time Has Come
3. Joe’s Song
4. I’m a Freak
5. Hangin On
6. I Don’t Really Wanna Go
7. Sensitive Soul
8. I Send My Love to You