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SCENE SETTER: Casey C making melodies from mayhem

Local musician set to release new album, Denaturing, on Sept. 29 under the moniker Nova Doll
Casey C, who has adopted the name Nova Doll for her latest project, will release a new album, titled Denaturing, later this week.

The word “doom” conjures very vivid feelings of foreboding. For such a small word, it carries tremendous weight and cannot be easily described. So what is the sound of doom?

Thankfully, the world at large — and our hometown — has musicians who can transpose ineffable subjects like doom and make melodies from mayhem.

One artist who has confidently stepped into the realm of the doom genre is Casey C. A well-known entity in our local music scene as a musician and co-proprietor of punk and hardcore offerings, Casey has adopted the moniker Nova Doll for her latest project.

Denaturing, the debut album under the Nova Doll name, is due out Sept. 29, but I had the opportunity to ask Casey a few questions about the project before the album drops.

Richard: Where did the name Nova Doll come from and what imagery or feelings do you want people to experience when they see or hear the name?

Casey: The name sort of fell into my lap in the form of a Scrabble configuration and I thought it sounded cool. "Nova" is an astronomical event that gives the appearance of a bright or new star, which seemed more than fitting for a new project. “Doll” obviously needs no explanation, but alludes to the feminine energy aboard.

Richard: For folks who are unfamiliar with the ‘doom’ genre, what characteristics do you use to describe it and what is the Nova Doll brand of doom?

Casey: Doom as a genre is often dark, tuned down for a heavier and fuller sound, slower or “sludgier,” but does come in thrashier flavours. Nova Doll has doom elements, but also a huge stoner rock influence — think Kyuss or early Queens of the Stone Age for a popular reference. I would say there’s also a garage or punk edge to it as well given my vocal delivery.

Richard: Denaturing marks your first full-length foray into the dark waters of the doom genre. What was the process like creating the album and how did it differ from the processes of your other projects?

Casey: It was much ‘sludgier’! Structuring the songs took a lot longer to flush out. However, the riffs themselves developed as quickly as they do for my punk songs. It was not something I wanted to rush, either. I started writing these tracks in 2020. I knew this would be a different sort of project and I had the freedom to get creative being the sole writer. I really wanted to make an experience album with a theme, timeline and mood, which isn’t uncommon in doom or occult rock-type music.

Richard: What might amaze people is that you’ve only been performing live for seven-ish years and in that short time have made quite a reputation with Heavy Petter, Angry Spells, and as co-owner of Tarantula Tapes. Where do you get this drive from and do you have any advice for people who might be hesitant to start a band/project?

Casey: Thank you, first off. Sometimes I forget to reflect on everything that’s happened in a short period of time. I’ve always loved to create and I guess I finally found the outlet that allowed me to flourish. I stumbled into a very supportive community of musicians and artists and I truly feel that’s what made the biggest impact.

I just wanted to play with more people, meet new friends and build a network of inspiration and excitement. I’m sharing a passion with people that get it and encourage it. I’m also incredibly organized, which is the only way I’m actually able to carry out all the many things I do in a day. (laughs)

Advice — live by your agenda or digital calendar, but most importantly, make a move. I regret starting my music career so late in life, but I’m so glad I did and was able to create with other people. It’s led me to so many valuable friendships and a level of confidence and appreciation that I didn’t have before.

Richard: After people experience the riff-heavy and formidable audio whomping that Denaturing packs, is there something that listeners might be surprised to learn about you? Or do you saunter around the streets at midnight with a lantern and a dark cloak?

Casey: (laughs) That would be a more fitting public perception for this interview. Although the themes surrounding Denaturing are dark and serious, and non-fictional, I would say I’m naturally quite cheerful and non-threatening. Although I’m a nighthawk, you are more likely to see me soaking up those harmful UVs before sauntering in dim light with poor eyesight. “Audio whomping,” might have to steal that…

Richard: Sonically, the album creates very vivid and cinematic soundscapes. If it were to be used as a soundtrack for a film, what would the film be about?

Casey: Damn girl, what a closer! I think the title of the synopsis would read something like this: “One ant's journey of self-discovery and reflection after breaking free from the colony.” Or, a horror movie set in the desert with car chases, slow struts and demonic ceremonies.

Denaturing will be released Sept. 29 and is available to stream and purchase here or to stream on Spotify here. An album release party will be held the same night with performances by Nova Doll, Death Club and Astral Witch. For more information, visit the event page here.

What else is happening?

SEPT. 22-OCT. 15 — CULTURE DAYS: Celebrate Culture Days, a Canada-wide celebration designed to catalyze and inspire public participation in arts and culture. The City of Barrie offers a variety of free, arts-driven programming and invites the public to experience one or more of the eclectic events this year. For a list of events, times and location, click here.

SEPT. 28-30 — LIVE LAUGH LOVE MUSIC FESTIVAL:  A three-day musical celebration starring country music heavyweight headliners The Jim Cuddy Band, Gord Bamford and Meghan Patrick is coming to The Ranch in downtown Barrie. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

OCT. 2 — DAX: Nigerian-made, Canadian-raised Dax brings his incomparable skills of hyper-speed technical rapping and slower-paced lyrical delivery to Barrie for a night that proves why he has amassed millions of followers. To purchase tickets for the show at The Ranch, click here.

OCT. 5-15 — SKATE DECK FUNDRAISER: Calling all artists! Spare Room Barrie is looking for local artists to tackle the unconventional medium of skate decks to showcase their art for an upcoming fundraiser. For more information, visit the Spare Room Instagram page here.

OCT. 12 — THE ENNIS SISTERS:  Hailing from Newfoundland, the Juno Award-winning Ennis Sisters have been entertaining audiences around the world for 25 years with their unique blend of Celtic and traditional Newfoundland folk music. To buy tickets for the show at Georgian Theatre in Barrie, click here.

OCT. 13 — CHAMPIONS OF MAGIC PRESENTS YOUNG AND STRANGE, DELUSIONISTS:  With more than 50 million online views, direct from a two-month run in London's West End and as seen on NBC's Access Hollywood, Britain's most famous comedy illusionists, Young and Strange, bring their smash hit show to us for a night of spectacular magic and illusion. To buy tickets for the show at Georgian Theatre, click here.