Relieve Your PINS AND NEEDLES With Cassandra Salas’s New EP

Born and raised in Southern California, singer-songwriter and alternative-pop recording artist Cassandra Salas holds nothing back in her autobiographical 3-track EP, PINS AND NEEDLES.

The dedicated recording artist creates music that could be described as alternative-pop but with harmonic sophistication. Having graduated from the Herb Alpert Music Scholarship Program at LACC, Salas is now continuing her education at CSU Northridge for music for film.

During her time at LACC, Cassandra Salas wrote her recent 3-track EP, PINS AND NEEDLES. The project comprises original pieces that help us understand Salas' creative abilities and her outlook on relatable situations.

The EP opens with the vibrant introductory track, "THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL," bursting open with bright electric guitars, cinematic piano melodies, and lively drum arrangements that leap into the first verse. Listening to Cassandra Salas's exciting vocal stylings, she sings of making it out of past relationships with scrapes and scars, only to land upon someone who makes her feel alive. This groovy and anthemic introductory track was a stellar way to open the project and grab our attention.

Moving onto track two, "TEXTBOOK," Cassandra Salas ramps up the mood and anticipation in this soulful and country-esque introduction. It doesn't take long for the percussion and bright brass to shift the song into this sweltering and vibrant atmosphere that's impossible to resist. She takes this track to share a hefty serving a reality to someone who's an "egocentric maniac," all while letting us get down to the dynamic and empowering instrumentals.

Landing on the EP's title and final track, "PINS AND NEEDLES," we're struck with a blistering electric guitar and Cassandra Salas's angsty vocals, sharing similarities to an early Avril Lavigne. This song is a scorcher; Cassandra Salas and her accompanying instrumentals blast through our speakers, commanding our attention and keeping us hooked with relatable lyrics, striking instrumentals, and an undeniably gripping atmosphere that has us locked in from beginning to end. This empowering song closes the album on such a thrilling and cathartic note, packed with energy, stamina, and perseverance.

When you're ready to cure those aching PINS AND NEEDLES, hit play on Cassandra Salas's powerful 3-track EP, now available on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Cassandra Salas. We admire the tenacity and energy you've brought to your recent EP, PINS AND NEEDLES. What inspired you to create this autobiographical EP?

When deciding which songs to choose for the EP, I went with the three songs that best represented my growth as a songwriter and as an artist. During the time I was writing these songs, I was struggling heavily with mental health. Before I sought out therapy, I poured my heart out into these pieces, perfecting them to their fullest potential. I was so inspired by the growth I made not only with my mental health but as an artist. I wanted to magnify what anxiety and depression looked like. For me, it was sometimes joyous, sometimes weak, other times indifferent. This album describes the rise and pitfalls of a specific and difficult time in my life.

What was your favorite part about creating the EP, PINS AND NEEDLES? What experiences did you appreciate most?

I loved the relationships that were cultivated throughout this process. The musicians on the record were people I played with at school formerly, and I'm so thankful for their contributions to this album. I'm grateful for how many people were brought into my life solely from this experience. I had the best time working with everyone and getting to know them well over this past year and a half. It's been a long journey, and I'm just so honored and humbled to have worked with such talented people.

Which song from PINS AND NEEDLES are you most proud of and why? What makes that song so special to you?

Such a hard question! I feel like the one I'm most proud of is Pins and Needles. Although it's one of the simplest songs on the EP sonically, it was the most challenging vocally. I remember being so scared to record the vocals for the choruses and the add libs near the end of the song. It's my favorite because it shows off my vocal athleticism, but it was difficult to get out of my own criticism. Being a singer can be tricky sometimes because of the psychological element behind a performance. It takes a minute to let go and just sing freely like no one is listening.

Did any other producers or musicians lend a helping hand when creating PINS AND NEEDLES? Who did you bounce your ideas off of?

I called on my colleague, Bryan Stage, to help me produce this album. He mixed my first single back in 2020, and I enjoyed working with him so much that I knew I wanted him to produce this EP. It's difficult to find a producer who is able to engineer while simultaneously relating to the artist on a personal level. He was always gracious and had a way of making me feel at home whenever we worked together. We worked on the arrangements for each song together, bouncing ideas to each other and seeing how they worked. It's always a pleasure working with him. I knew I needed a cinematographer for the film idea that I had in mind for all three songs, which led me to my friend, Alex Zamora. A talented cinematographer and photographer who I found through a mutual friend of mine. I had never written a script before or acted. He was so patient with me on set, always giving the best direction and helping me write the ideas for the film. I was so nervous about diving into the cinema since that was something I'd never done, and Alex made me feel confident through it all.

How do you hope the listener reacts to PINS AND NEEDLES? What impact do you want the EP to leave on your audience?

The goal for this album was to speak on my struggles with mental health. The film portrays that experience in more depth and connects each song together. Although the songs are very different, I wanted the listener to think about how we look at individuals who struggle with mental health. What that could look like. It can feel elated like, The Way You Make Me Feel. It can feel marginalized and misunderstood, like a textbook. It can feel hopeless and isolating like Pins and Needles. I hope the audience can resonate with each song and relate it to their own experience.