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cassie-ramone_thetimehascome

Before I begin, a moment of silence for Vivian Girls.

Okay. Now we’ve all paid our respects, I can introduce the magnificent body of work that is ex-frontwoman Cassie Ramone’s debut solo record.

On its surface, ‘The Time Has Come’ is Ramone’s foray into dark folk (a la Angel Olsen, not the crazy neo-Nazi stuff that came up when I searched the term to make sure I was using it correctly.) Loglady Records, the label on which the album was produced, describes it on their website as “a somewhat contemporary take on what a modern day Karen Dalton record may sound like.” But Ramone is much more than the sum of her parts; she marks her personality on every note, and honestly, if I didn’t know better I’d think this was her main project.

The album opens with the equally sunny and haunting “Song of Love.” The song begins with Ramone giving thanks that she’s moved past a bad time of her life, but it’s clear that she’s still caught up in her past, especially with the closing lyrics: “Every night when I rest my head/ I tell the bedboard that I’d rather be dead than where I was those years ago.” It’s masterful writing and a very moving track.

“I’m a Freak”, a nonchalantly self-depreciating track, is another highlight. “Don’t invite me home to dinner ’cause I’ll make a scene,” Ramone warns.

The best song on the album, however, is “I Don’t Really Wanna.” It’s intimate, more of a personal narrative than anything else, and beautifully composed. Originating as a subdued, traditional folk ballad, it transforms into something entirely different by the end. Harsh noise and acoustic guitar? Sure, why not.

‘The Time Has Come’ might clock in at just 23 minutes with 8 tracks. (This is probably a good thing, because otherwise I’d lose a lot more time listening to it over and over and forgetting my responsibilities, like actually writing this review.) But it’s one of the best folk albums I’ve heard this year, so I’ll accept that. I love you, Cassie Ramone.

 

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