At only 29 years old, singer-songwriter Chase Gassaway has more musical experience than most artists twice his age. And he’s putting it to good use with the release of his second solo album, Certain Circles, his first full-length record in nearly a decade.
A lifelong Texan, Gassaway studied music composition and theory in college, honing his skills as a composer by creating works for a wide range of ensembles from choirs to full orchestras, as well as composing the score to short film Take Two. He has also been trained in classical guitar and voice, and plays a variety of instruments from banjolele to reed organ. His training, and the onstage lessons he’s learned as a solo performer and member of groups such as Canaries in the Coal Mine and formally the Matchmaker Band, has resulted in multi-textured pop songs that recall the Head & the Heart and Ben Folds. In a Chase Gassaway song, it’s not unusual to hear strings, horns, woodwinds and piano accompanying Gassaway’s engaging lyrics and slightly husky vocals, which might remind listeners of Jakob Dylan’s.
Instead of pigeonholing his music into Americana, folk or alternative categories, Gassaway prefers to pursue diversity and eclecticism. “I’ve written full symphonic works, choral pieces, chamber music and folk songs, and they’re all the same for me,” he explains. “I like to think of my style as ‘honest.’”