Bigger Obstacles

by Faith Bennett
Best known as the frontman for Cursive and The Good Life, Tim Kasher has been an acclaimed force in music for the better part of the past two decades. With his bands, he has released ten full-length albums since 1997. Last October he unveiled his eleventh, a solo LP called The Game of Monogamy. This year has brought us even more Tim Kasher by way of a follow-up EP, Bigamy: More Songs from the Monogamy Sessions. EU recently had the opportunity to speak with Kasher about the new release.
As the album’s name suggests, much of what you will hear on Bigamy was written during the same period as his debut solo album. When asked why the songs were released separately Kasher explains “I considered it to be a private album in itself, some of the content didn’t match or wasn’t appropriate for that record.”
Both works mix orchestral melody with 90s post-punk aesthetics, and both speak of a dissolving marriage and approaching middle age, but the tone between the records does differ. Bigamy feels more melodramatic musically, but lyrically Kasher’s perseverance is more prevalent.
The EP includes a cover of Azure Ray’s ‘Trees Keep Growing,’ which Kasher says is “a song that I liked a lot from a few years back when I was touring with Azure Ray. I always imagined doing a version of it. Not a necessarily better version, but a version.” His rendition includes bells and reverb which draw attention to the line “there’s a world outside yourself,” an idea that Kasher finds gets easier with age.
“I would hope that for any person. That’s one of the bigger obstacles people have to get over is themselves.” Having already surpassed his adolescence, Kasher knowingly says “When you’re younger you think the world revolves around you and then you realize it doesn’t. I’ve gotten over it.”
Though he may no longer be writing about his teen years and early twenties, it doesn’t keep the kids that age from his work. “I think a lot of music tends to be that way. The audience tends to be younger. I don’t seem to be writing what would be relatable to a fifteen year old.” But still, he says the emotional connection is not hindered by age. “Despite that it might not be relatable, I don’t think there is a disconnect at all.” Kasher believes that because his music does cater to more of a niche, the right audience will always find it, regardless of age. “Music like what I do, it’s smaller. You have to seek it out. It’s more of something you engage in…different than top 40”
He is articulate on the phone, as one would expect the skilled lyricist to be, but it can also be sensed that Kasher is a bit uncomfortable talking about his own art. He laughs nervously into the receiver as if he were still an awkward teenager and admits “Writing is being sort of self indulgent, despite that I feel kind of gross talking about myself. Like, you can see it in the interviews I’ve done. You feel dirty when you talk about yourself all day. It’s going to feel smarmy. But that’s why you hire a publicist, and I’m glad to do it. It’s a double edged sword.”
He sounds earnest, I ask if he is happy with Bigamy. “Yeah,” he says with audible optimism in his voice. “I’m kind of eager to have more songs on tour.”