Americana Highways presents this premiere of “Just a Dance” from Casey Ahern’s forthcoming EP Where I Run. “Just a Dance was produced and mixed by Nathan Meckel and Mark Niemiec, mastered by Jim DeMain, with Casey Ahern on vocals, Tim Galloway on acoustic guitar, Kris Donegan on electric guitar, Lee Hendricks on bass, David Dorn on keys, Matt King on drums, Eamon McLoughlin on violin, and background vocals by Kaci Bolls. We also had a chance to chat briefly with Casey about the song here, and the premiere track is below.
AH: What inspired you to write this song? Was there something specific that prompted it? What is it about?
CA: I was inspired to write “Just A Dance” after sharing a dance with a guy, who was not my boyfriend. I was at a country bar/dance hall type of place, and this guy just pulled me onto the dance floor. It was really innocent, but I remember saying how guilty I felt afterward and someone said, “Well, it was just a dance.” So I wrote the song focused on the brief moment we shared on the dance floor and the aftermath of realizing there were doubts in my then-current relationship.
AH: You’re a great lyricist. Are you a lyrics-first or a music-first sort of songwriter? Which came first on this song?
CA: Thank you! A lot of the time when writing, the lyrics and music hit me at the same time. Sometimes it’s a couple lyrics of a verse, other times, it just flows into a whole chorus. And it’s funny because it’s usually when I’m driving or in the shower rather than sitting down with my guitar intending to write. For “Just A Dance,” the hook definitely came first along with the first verse, but I did know I wanted the song to be a simple waltz in order to capture the feeling of the moment.
AH: You grew up in Southern California; how would you say that has impacted the music you write?
CA: Growing up in Southern California, I’ve been exposed to vast genres of music, from the Laurel Canyon songwriters to the Bakersfield country sound. Also, since a lot of the people I’ve come to know in Los Angeles aren’t born and raised here, they’ve opened my ears to a lot of different genres that didn’t originate in California. And of course, after spending hours sitting in Los Angeles traffic, you learn to listen to those different songs instead of the same five on repeat! I also tend to write from my own experiences, so a lot of lyrics in my songs reference or describe the different places I have been and spent my years in Southern California.
AH: What is next for Casey Ahern?
CA: I’m going to be releasing a five-song EP called Where I Run in early 2020 that I’m incredibly excited about! As an artist and songwriter, I feel like it really captures who I am and my sound, thanks to the incredible producers and musicians who made the tracks come to life! So the next steps are really seeing where this journey leads and connecting with individuals who are touched by these songs along the way.
With a true Western feel, and a vocal tone that sounds like a crystal butterfly, Casey Ahern sketches a tale of an innocent dance that felt like so much more. Listen to the story unfold in an instantly classic Americana style, and stay tuned for more on Where I Run.