Cameron Castan Show Me
If you’ve been paying any attention to the Brooklyn music scene at all the last year or so, you’ve probably seen Whiner frontman, Cammy Baby, go solo under their own name, Cameron Castan. That isn’t news. What is news, however, is that they recently released their long-awaited, much anticipated full-length debut, Show Me.
Also a member of the Baby & Dynamite duo project with Johnny Dynamite, Castan often exists in the overlapping world of Brooklyn indie musicians bringing back an 80s retro-vibe with a modern flair mixing a hybrid of electronic elements, synth sounds and live instrumentation.
But Castan is not Dynamite. Despite the proximities of shared projects, friendships, and current geographies, Cameron Castan is an artist all their own. Show Me deploys retro-sounding synth hooks and lo-fi basic percussion loops merely as a basic foundation to build some deeper lyrical themes buried within some darker pop bangers.
First single “Bright” got some attention back in the Spring when it first dropped, and I had the pleasure of catching them perform at TV Eye with Noah Swanson on live guitar while Cammy worked the crowd. Back then he told Bands do BK the song “represents that metaphorical ‘shutting out the light’ we all sink into from time to time…that feeling where you just wanna cut everything out that is going on in your life and the world around you and just vibe. I always find myself embracing the darker parts of myself and others and I wanted to try and capture that haunting nostalgic sound I see and hear as I lay down alone, close my eyes, and let my mind unravel.”
I’d say the rest of the record to some degree takes similar cues. Whether it’s kicking it with “Lucifer” or fading into the void with “Exquisite Corpse,” this record brings a beautiful splash of the macabre, casting a deep shadow across the work, allowing perfect little spaces for the light to poke through. Those brighter moments then carry a true weight and a force as “we’re all reaching out in the dark” for something better as Castan sings on “Thriving.”
Other times “Weightless,” a standout highlight (and yes all my cross-puns here are all quite intentional), Cammy really succeeds in striking balance between catchy pop magic and introspection of detachment, isolation, and loneliness.
Castan has already proven to be a songwriter of substance on record by way of Whiner’s catalog the last few years. But on Show Me, Cameron here has stripped back the dissonance of heavy guitars, and fuzzed out synths, opting instead for a leaner skeleton to lay his skin. I think coming out of the Whiner-verse is what sets him apart from other artists of similar style. Castan lures you in with catchy somber pop music, and by the time you realize you’re listening to something deeper, he’s already sunk his teeth into your heart.
Show Me is available now on all major streaming platforms.