The Time Traveler is Paulina Cassidy’s second CD, and my first introduction to her work. May I just say, I’m glad I caught up to her early because this is someone I think I’m going to want to listen to going forward. Although this disc skims by in under 35 minutes, the voyage holds time at bay, thanks to Cassidy’s otherworldly, wordless vocals and a blend of styles that range from neo-classical (“The Faceless Clock,” “The Here and Now”) to the hauntingly abstract (“Dimensonal Shift” and the 56-second “Quantus”) and several points in between. I was honestly surprised to note how short the disc was. Then again, I’ve had it looping to take in the depth of Cassidy’s music. The changing styles, even on so short a piece, keep Time Traveler fresh and Cassidy is obviously at home with her musical shapeshifting. She curves the Enigma-esque title track seductively around the listener, infusing it with a light Middle Eastern feel, a pulsing bass and her sensual whisper. She changes to a clean, crisp Windham Hill style for “The Here and Now,” a simple and lovely New Age instrumental on piano and strings. The opener, “The Facelss Clock,” is rife with drama and tension. Plucked strings leap over string sounds as Cassidy lays down a gorgeous caoine like a romantic ghost song. That same feel works through the closer, “Tea With the Dream Ghost.” Silky, echoing faerie chants spin through the background against long-drawn string pads and muted piano. There’s a beautiful fragility to the all vocal work here; it seems spun out in a very fragile, glassy thread, sound coming through like refracted light. The Time Traveler is a wonderfully dynamic set of pieces, and Cassidy is a genuine talent to be watched.
Available from Paulina Cassidy’s web site.