A collaboration of local Sacramento artists Andrew Castro and Casey Groat comes together in this fantastic acoustic pop album from Andrew Castro titled “Inside Out.” The album features six of Castro’s songs, all written by Castro himself. There are no covers here, this is all original work. What Casey Groat (local Sacramento artist and producer) brings to the table is excellent mixing and supporting instruments. Castro himself is a solo acoustic act, but with the help of Groat it adds some great instrumentals including drums, bass, and some extra guitar work. However, this does not take away from Castro’s own talent.
Seeing Andrew Castro live is quite the experience. His voice work is stellar, and his guitar playing on his Martin LX1E, or Little Martin as it is more commonly called. Also for songs “Wired” and “Headlights” (and sometimes “Inside Out”) Castro will use a loop pedal to record guitar loops live. Something that I had never seen before but is, apparently, a common technique. Regardless I still thought that it was fascinating the first time I saw it.
Now let’s focus on the music. To describes Andrew Castro’s sound is to think of him as a local Ed Sheeran or early Jason Mraz. Castro has that bright and fun sound that makes pop very enjoyable to listen to and accessible by a large audience. The songs themselves follow this sort of love song pattern. Not the sappy “Oh I love you and here’s a song” drivel that seems to plague modern pop. It’s more of a “Here’s how you make me feel and I’m going to sound sexy telling you.” The song I’m mostly referring to is “Wired”, the fourth song on the EP. It has this seductive tone to it between the smooth not-quite-spoken-word-but-still-singing and the subtle bass line that really adds to the flow of the song.
The other quality that Castro’s songs have are a sort of story telling element. To use my favorite slower song “Fall” you can picture in your head exactly how it would play out. The lyrics transport you to the world of this song and you can feel yourself connecting to the character as he watches the love of his life walk out. The subject of this song is very relatable which is probably why I found so much beauty in the words. This song is also aided by the wonderful voice of Sandra Dolores who adds harmonies not only to this song, but also “Headlights.” Dolores’s addition gives me chills with how well she syncs with the ambiance of the song. Listening to this song, the best way for me to describe it is “basically asking to be turned into a music video.” Yeah, it’s that good.
So to wrap up this album review, I love this album. I think it’s a great showcase to what local artists have to offer, and, if you listen to my show on KSSU.com you know that I am always for supporting local music. Andrew Castro has earned my support in the effort to bringing great local artists to the spotlight. Andrew Castro’s album “Inside Out” is available on iTunes and through him directly. I’d highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking to get into local Sacramento artists.
DJ Bluebomber (Zach Kaminski) hosts an Alt/Indie music show on Tuesdays from 7-8 PM Pacific Time. If you’re looking for a wide range of music from indie synth pop, to garage rock, to various metal then tune in