Kingston, Ontario band Kasador have never been scared of change. And the three friends at Kasador’s core—Cameron Wyatt (vocals/guitar), Boris Baker (bass), and Stephen Adubofuor (drums)—have been through a lot of it.
They’ve woven years of tumult through their mid- and late-20s into something powerful and real: a tight-knit, sincere, and caring rock and roll band hitting full sprint, with an upcoming full-length record about youth, memory, relationships, and how the relentless passage of time shapes and constantly reshapes all of those things. It’s a bright, punkish, emotional guitar-rock record that ultimately tracks the process of learning to be okay with not being okay.
Kasador, who have shared stages with Arkells, July Talk, Sam Roberts Band, and The Glorious Sons, began a new era in 2016 from the past life of another university-era band. Adubofuor joined in 2018, and in 2019, the band released their debut full-length Brood and Bloom, a dark, pensive collection of alt-rock, pop, and R&B that scored 350,000 plays in the first six months after release. Kasador celebrated it with a sold-out, 800-cap hometown show that December.
But when the band’s former co-lead singer stepped down in 2020 just before the pandemic began, the trio was again hurled into uncertainty. The usual questions cropped up: are we done? Will we be good enough? Rather than scramble to hold onto the past, they turned inward to each other. They decided to embrace and move forward into a new era, becoming a different band in the process.
Wyatt was thrust into the spotlight as Kasador’s sole frontman (“Whether I wanted to or not,” he grins) and together, he, Baker, and Adubofuor began the process of growth and building that would eventually produce the music for their second LP, the upcoming Youth. This period encouraged a tightening of the screws: songcraft was dissected and refined, and a new, grittier sound emerged. The result on record is an essential document of a band realizing that things won’t—can’t—last forever, and how to make sense of the gap between youthful dreams and very adult realities.
“The last little while, you can really get sucked into chasing a mirage, or some unattainable thing, just looking back on a rosier world,” says Wyatt. “But you can’t get any younger, and you gotta confront how you wanna grow up.”
After demoing dozens of songs, the band recorded at Bathouse Studio with The Glorious Sons’ Brett Emmons producing and Nyles Spencer (Half Moon Run, July Talk) engineering. Vic Florencia (Olivia Rodrigo, Jason Mraz, Five For Fighting) mixed the record and Peter Letros (Beyonce, Duran Duran) mastered.
It opens with the sunny riffing of “Youth,” a crashing, teenage summer night ripper over which Wyatt reckons with how to accept the passing of time: “Youth! One day comes before the other is through/Youth! Is it really something I should hold onto?” Follow-up “R.I.P. Me Down” is an early-Aughts indie-rock spiral through unlearning the masculine coding to suppress things inside: “I’m bursting at the seams, I’m talking in my sleep!” calls Wyatt on the chorus.
Later, “The City” is a sweeping, colossal alt-rock exploration of feeling lost, small, and insignificant, a cynical love letter to Toronto. “It’s honest, and honesty has unattractive elements to it,” says Wyatt. “We’re not afraid to shy away from that.”
The icey punk rock frenzy of “Lock On” gives way to “Crawling,” a warm, classic-rock love-song stomp. After remembering the beauty of a past relationship, Wyatt declares over and again on the chorus, “I come crawling back to you, so you don’t have to.” Baker describes the song, with a genuine grin, as “nice guy rock.”
The record closes on the tender finger picking and snare drum shuffle of ballad “Younger Days,” complete with gorgeous, ghostly harmonies and wistful organ accompaniment. Wyatt’s voice carries the record to its uncertain end: “Everything is gonna be alright/Everything is gonna be…”
It’s a tentative peace, one that Kasador embraces but knows might not last. It’s all the more reason that the band is ready to burst out of the gate and storm stages across North America with Youth: nothing lasts forever.
Youth is due out June 2, 2023.
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