Casiotone For The Painfully Alone
Vs. Children
Tomlab (2009)
Download: “Natural Light”

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, the one-man band also known as Owen Ashworth, has crafted a lush, evocative album on Vs. Children. Although there is a solemn tone that pops up throughout, Asworth’s vivid stories draw the listener into the simple beats and melodies and create a world of characters reminiscent of early Asylum era Tom Waits. The songs are filled with loss, betrayal and characters that are on the run or wish to getaway but can’t.

It is his love of film (Ashworth was a former film school student) that brings out the most interesting part of the album. With just a glance of the cover art with the bereted, blonde-bobbed Bonnie and the Model T Clyde in the background you get a foreshadowing of the early songs. On “Tom Justice” Ashworth tells the tell of a Dillinger-esque character that robs banks with a smile which segues perfectly in “Optimist vs. The Silent Word” which speaks of betrayal and ends with a humorous blending of the “Saints Come Marching In.”

From there, Ashworth unfastens his album to a broader landscape albeit with the same thematic tones of wayward Midwesterners. What makes the album work so well in the end are the lyrical style and the visual nature of his storytelling that lives in your head for hours after the first listen.

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone (Official) | MySpace