Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing Cassadee Pope. That may sound silly to many people because Cassadee has been on the country music scene since 2012 when she won Season 3 of The Voice and released her debut album, Frame by Frame, in 2013. But ladies and gentlemen, there’s a new Pope in town and she’s feeling empowered.
“Lyrically, I’m more confident and more bold in what I’m saying,” reveals Cassadee on location with Nash Country Daily. “There is also more of a focus with the message. I’m really empowering with these new songs. I’m more aware and grounded so I hope the overall message from this EP is to be yourself and encouraged in life’s journey.”
Cassadee’s journey is continuing down a more confident path these days with the release of her new EP, Summer, which drops today (June 3), as well as the title-track single, which she co-penned with Kelly Archer and Emily Shackelton. She is also recently coming off her first No. 1 tune, her duet with Chris Young, “Think of You.”
“I’ve always had a colorful imagination, and I think this new collection of songs helps show my stories in a more vibrant way,” says Cassadee. “Musically, I think it’s a little bit more fresh than the last album.”
That fresh new sound on the EP can be attributed, in part, to producer Corey Crowder (Chris Young), who allowed Cassadee the freedom to be creative in the studio. Corey, a songwriter himself, also produced Cassadee’s first No. 1 hit, “Think of You,” and the two hit it off right from the start.
“I met Corey through ‘Think of You’ and I loved working with him,” says Cassadee. “He basically just said, ‘Sing this a few times through and we’ll see if we got it.’ Sometimes when you get into the vocal booth people don’t let you do your thing. I love when I get into the booth and somebody let’s me have it. They let me just take the song where I want to take it and try different things and do different takes and give them different options. That’s exactly what Corey did for my solo stuff. He just put me in the booth and said, ‘OK, I’m going to give you a bunch of passes and have fun.’”
The four-song EP is a showcase of Cassadee’s talent, both sonically and lyrically: “Summer,” about a passionate summer romance that comes to a quick end; “Piano,” about putting an end to a manipulative relationship—you played me like a piano; “Alien,” an empowerment song that proves there’s nothing wrong with being who you are; and “Kisses at Airports,” about not taking a moment for granted because you never know what will happen.
The one song Cassadee did not have a hand in writing was “Kisses at Airports,” written by Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington and Chase McGill.
Summer EP Track List With Songwriters
- “Summer” | Cassadee Pope, Kelly Archer, Emily Shackelton
- “Piano” | Cassadee Pope, Jimmy Robbins, Laura Veltz
- “Kisses at Airports” | Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Chase McGill
- “Alien” | Cassadee Pope, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite
But the power of the song and it’s ability to tug at the heartstrings of so many, including Cassadee’s, made it impossible not to include.
“The first time I heard ‘Kisses at Airports,’ I cried,” she explains. “It’s just so powerful. I think all of us have been through that moment where we are leaving to fly somewhere or we’re coming back from somewhere and excited to see somebody. It’s that sentiment of making sure the people you care about know that you love them, because you just never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. There’s also a huge tip of the hat to the men and women who serve our country everyday. That’s the part that got me the most. It’s just a really, really powerful, special song.”
On any given day, Cassadee’s favorite song on the EP seesaws back and forth. But today, the second track on the EP, “Piano,” written by Cassadee, Jimmy Robbins and Laura Velz, is her top choice. “Piano is just so raw and the emotion behind the lyric is just so dear to my heart. It’s just something that I feel like everybody’s been through. It’s the moment where you realize ‘I’ve let this person lead me down the wrong path and just manipulate me and it’s time to stop that.’ The thing I love most about it is the conversational aspect of the lyric. It’s not too difficult to follow. It’s something that you would say in a conversation and I think that’s what resonates with people the most.”
Choosing the lead track for the EP was a no-brainer for the stunning redhead. A Florida native herself, growing up in West Palm Beach, she was no stranger to the beach scene or those summer romances that she spent basking in the sun and surf. “‘Summer’ to me was the obvious choice for the single because of the timing, how strong the lyric is and how it tells a story. I think that’s what country music is all about and that’s the route I wanted to take with my re-introduction. As an overall EP, it’s really showing a lot of different sides of my personality that people haven’t seen before.”
What you will see is Cassadee performing all four new songs on the road as she tackles the fair and festival circuit this summer. “The Summer EP is basically my four favorite songs that I’ve done in the past year and a half. I can’t wait to get out there and start playing these songs in the live aspect. That’s one of my favorite things, when I’m in the studio, imagining singing these songs when I’m on stage. That’s going to be really fun to do. I love playing fairs and festivals there’s just a different vibe in the air at those things. Everybody is there to have a good time, be outside, enjoy the weather and to drink and eat, so everybody is always in a good mood at those shows.”
And with that, Cassadee Pope can’t hope for anything more this summer.