Hailing from Athens, Georgia, is the alternative rock group Casual Americans with their latest lush and spirited single entitled, "Anything You Want."
Formed by Justin Reynolds and other music industry professionals, Casual Americans represents the kind of indie rock formed in the 90s and 00s with an updated feel. Influenced by the sounds of Beck, Spoon, and The Shins, Casual Americans also dive into vocal harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles and Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys.
Casual Americans dropped their debut single, "Somebody Famous," in October 2021. Fast forward to today, they released their fifth track, "Anything You Want," set to be included on their debut full-length album later in 2022. If the album is anything like the sweet new single, "Anything You Want," we're sure listeners will rave about the engaging experience Casual Americans has to offer.
Jumping into the new single, "Anything You Want," we're passionately greeted with a bright array of guitars and a thick bassline that springs through our speakers without a dull moment. Casual Americans gradually expand the atmosphere to create this surreal and ethereal listening experience that any listener can deeply appreciate.
Their melodic structure is top-notch, and Justin Reynolds' smooth vocals that display immense passion are a whole other engaging aspect that leaves us locked in for the ride. The entire song examines those precious emotions we feel when in someone's special presence and doing anything to make them smile from ear to ear. It's an incredibly wholesome song that has us floating on cloud nine from intro to outro.
Leap into the loving and lush atmosphere of Casual Americans' new single, "Anything You Want," and prepare for their forthcoming debut album dropping later this year. Find "Anything You Want" on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Casual Americans. We adore the affectionate and emotional experience you've delivered in your latest single, "Anything You Want." What inspired you to create this deeply passionate single?
Thanks so much! This song came really unexpectedly. I was in the studio working on a bass part for a different song altogether and stumbled on what became the bassline for "Anything You Want." Once I arrived at it, I completely switched gears and solely focused on turning that bassline into a full song. I'm not really a bassist, and I don't typically write from the bass, so sketching out a full song from just the bass stretched me in a different way musically. The bass moves so much and carries more harmonic and melodic weight than I would normally give it, so I just made that the "primary instrument" for determining where you are in the song. With that in mind, I tried to make everything more atmospheric and dreamy, so nothing is competing too much with where the bass is taking you. I also thought juxtaposing the bass with simple finger snaps would ground the song. There are nearly endless examples of classic songs prominently featuring snaps and hand claps, and it felt like a really natural way to make that bassline more human and relatable. Everything else in the song is textural. I like the idea of the song rising and falling with these sonic textures that either heighten or relax the drama.
Who wrote the vulnerable and loving lyrics for "Anything You Want?" What was the core message you wanted to get across with your lyrics?
I [Justin Reynolds] wrote the lyrics myself. The atmosphere of the song is very dreamy, but it felt very much like a love song to me. I've never been particularly good at writing love songs, so when I approached the lyrics, I was thinking about classic love songs from the '60s and '70s and how those lyrics approached vulnerability and affection, and I thought about what that might look like in a modern context. I like to think that the lyrical content applies to romantic relationships at any stage, from new love to really established relationships. With that said, I definitely wrote it within the perspective of a long-term relationship. There aren't a lot of love songs about "mature" relationships - the longer you're with someone, the more complicated life becomes, and it's easy to take a lot of things for granted. This song leans into what it means to love and be in love with someone for a long time. Love's as much a choice as it is a feeling, and one can inform the other. There's a lot of beauty in not just the history and time spent together but the potential for what the future holds.
What was the most rewarding part about creating such a passionate piece as "Anything You Want?" What did you take away from the experience?
The most rewarding thing about creating the song was how much it stretched me both musically and lyrically. The musical construction from the bassline up was definitely a new experience for me as a songwriter and made me think differently about each element of the song. I've never thought of myself as being particularly good at writing love songs, but I'm quite proud of this one. I think I really communicated something lyrically that I've never been able to tap into before, and that's really gratifying. I also really love the vocal hook that pops up throughout the song. One of my favorite things is thick vocal harmonies - I'm a massive Beatles fan and was super into The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds around the time I was writing and recording the album. Hence, there was a lot of time spent chasing those kinds of vocal harmonies and arrangements. It takes a really long time for me to nail stuff like that because you're just stacking vocals on top of each other and trying to make everything line up perfectly, but I'm really pleased with how that came together.
How does "Anything You Want" align with the theme or concept of your upcoming debut album? Could you drop any hints about what the forthcoming album is about?
Great question! There's not really a narrative theme or concept that runs throughout songs on the album. With that said, the story of this album's existence is one of persistence. This record was made literally 1-2 hours at a time. From around October 2019 - March 2021, I would go down to my studio every night for an hour or two just to see what I could come up with in that time at the end of the day. The pandemic hit a few months into the process, and it was great for my mental health to have this project going in the middle of everything else that was happening. I had sort of given up on music at that point. I've been in bands that weren't successful, and I've been a studio musician and side man for a number of bands and artists over the years. Still, I had gotten to a point where I felt like maybe it just wasn't going to happen for me on a professional level - at least, not the way that I had envisioned it. I didn't know if I could write songs anymore. So, I just decided to try and do it all myself. I'd go down to the studio and work for a couple of hours and just see what I could accomplish. Sometimes it was something as mundane as editing an acoustic guitar part or something; other nights, it would be finding the perfect guitar tone or part and just nailing it and feeling super inspired. More often than not, it was just me showing up and doing whatever needed to be done next to complete whatever song I was working on. Whether I was "feeling it" or not, I learned that the key to progress was often just showing up and doing something. It would take around a month and a half to complete a song working like that, so I really had to be into whatever I was working on to chip away at it an hour or two at a time. It took a ton of trial and error and almost forcing myself to do something on nights when I wasn't "feeling it", but I had 10 songs I loved at the end of that time. I passed them around to some friends of mine who felt like the songs needed to be released but needed some extra love to get to that level. So, these guys (specifically, my friends Paul Rogers and Jimmy Mansfield in Nashville) played actual drums (I had just programmed some drum parts) and filled in some production things that took the songs to a level I didn't think was possible. That's a fairly unusual way to make a record. Normally, the drums are the first things to get recorded, but they were the last thing to get recorded in this case. That's a long way of saying that, for me, the story of this record is how it got made in the first place. That applies to tons of things in the "real world"; half the battle is just showing up consistently.