Navigating relationships is rarely easy. Whether starting something new or reminiscing on the good old days, Winnipeg singer-songwriter Cassidy Mann translated her own experiences into her debut EP, If It’s Not Forever, which comes out on April 1.
Although Mann has maintained a strong ground in the Winnipeg music scene, it took relocating to Toronto and overcoming heartbreak to inspire her first fully formed project through her label, End Times Music.
“It was the first time that I co-produced a batch of songs, but throughout the pandemic, I produced a lot on my own. By the time we worked on these songs, I already had a lot of demos,” Mann says.
After finishing the tracks with the help of friend and co-producer Roman Clarke, the singer noticed a prevalent theme throughout the EP. Focusing on relationships in their different phases through what she calls a “cinematic, nostalgic and personal” approach, Mann used wistful melodies and honest lyrics to connect with people who’ve had similar experiences.
“It’s called If It’s Not Forever, because it talks about all this journey of relationships by sifting through and letting go of old memories,” she says.
While each song speaks for itself and contributes to the cohesive result, one in particular summed up the EP’s message like no other. The yet-to-be-released title track explores bittersweet moments in love.
“I wrote ‘Tropical Sour Candy’ a couple years ago and worked on different versions for the song. We had the five other songs already when I texted Roman saying that I thought that this was the missing piece to the collection. It worked perfectly this time around. That one was about eating sour candy by myself after having eaten it with someone else. I just thought it was an interesting metaphor about the sweet and sour parts of a relationship,” Mann says.
For the Winnipeg-born musician, songwriting is the most enjoyable aspect of the composition process. She hopes listeners will pay attention to her lyrics and her ability to tell stories that hit close to home.
“The lyrics have always been my favourite part of doing songs. I love playing with words and flipping phrases around. Being specific and vague. I always like to answer questions about lyrics and what they mean,” she says.
Reflecting on the EP, Mann is proud of her accomplishment and values the time and energy she dedicated to it.
“I think sometimes when you work on a project, you might get that sense that something is unfinished, but in the case of this one, I really felt like it was done, and I was satisfied with that piece. I love every song (on) it, and I feel really proud of what we did.”
To celebrate the upcoming EP release, Mann will play at the Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club on March 24. Tickets are available on eventbrite.ca.
Published in Volume 76, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 23, 2022)