Igniting The Spark To Case's Success

Photos by Julien Carr

Attracting Listeners Through Emotional Connections

Case is a young, five man band out of Chicago making music that tugs at your heartstrings. It’s been around a year since Case started collaborating, and with their recent EP Questions of Space, they’re showing listeners that they have capabilities beyond their previous work. Possessing their own sound,  Case hits their sonic stride connecting to listeners through the vivid expression of their lyrics, manifesting the message through their instruments with style and subtlety that’s hard to find. 

Seamus (Violin, Vocals, Guitar) and Cale (Guitar and Vocals) have known each other since grade school. They stayed in touch over the years, developing a friendship and eventually releasing a collaborative project together. “Once we decided that we wanted to focus on one song, ‘Days on a Wire’, we started to hit up these other guys,” Seamus explained. “Days On A Wire” helped bring the musicians together, but it wasn’t until the song was released that the group of guys first met. It was at that first rehearsal that the connection between the five sparked.

Life doesn’t offer uniform experiences for anybody


That spark ignited into a flame, and the group quickly developed chemistry. Their creative process builds off one member to another, bouncing ideas off each other, sharing where adjustments can be made. “I think what we have been able to do is find the efficiency and the proper way to do that”, Jabriel stated. “Of like everybody coming together, you know, around this idea and kind of crafting it and molding it to its maturest state.”

The growth in their approach can be seen comparing their single “In Season”,  released earlier this year, months before their new EP Questions Of Space. The breakup vibe of  “In Season” makes the track’s theme easily comprehended, a result of their each musician reflecting on his own role in the band, searching for how to accomplish their shared goal: an EP focused on instrumentation. “It was challenging to take a step back… and take a look in the mirror at myself as a musician, and as a guitarist, and finding more of a role that could satisfy the goal that the band had for the EP”, Noah commented. Cale’s reflection was centered from the perspective he holds as a singer-songwriter. “Life doesn’t offer uniform experiences for anybody”, he said. “There’s these larger questions of life: [like] who do we love? Why do we believe in what we believe in? Who are we? Etc.”. These moments of honesty helped Case to mold Questions of Space.

Questions Of Space contains three tracks, kicking off with Noah and Jabril’s guitar / trumpet instrumentals on “So Much It Could Be: So Little It is”.  The constant strum of guitar melds with trumpet as they build into Cale’s vocals, and Seamus’ violin enters cinematically shortly after. Intertwined with the music are lyrics questioning feelings of love, each part played as powerful as the words being sung, and with equal importance. “We wanted to make those [parts] have the same impact emotionally as the lyrics”, Seamus explained regarding the heavy instrumentation. On “More Than Life” Charlie’s drumming and Jabril’s trumpet stand out with crystal clarity. On the final track, “Oh God, No God”, Cale’s vocals float above, remaining distinct from the band’s instrumentation. Case’s goal is achieved - every part contributing to a song’s sentiment, connecting the listener fully to the groups take on life and love. 

Charlie has one year left in high school, the other four bandmates have recently graduated, and to this point their audience has primarily been their peers. Yet as their music develops Case is making their way to a broader crowd, from recognized peers, to now including unfamiliar faces. They’re now hearing from out of state listeners who reach out to express appreciation of their music. You could see it loud and clear at their headlining show mid June at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall venue.

...everybody coming together, you know, around this idea and kind of crafting it and molding it to its maturest state.

The excitement of playing Lincoln Hall was clear during our conversation. Charlie lit up with a smile when discussing the opportunity. “I’ve been dreaming about this for my whole life”, he said with a radiant smile. The show was not only a dream lived out by the year old band, but it was a moment shared with peers on stage. The songs played were performed differently than how they were recorded, - seven peers were brought on, a total of 12 musicians sharing the Lincoln Hall Stage at once. Seamus’s younger sister and 3 other girls brought strings into the mix, each playing the cello, and two more on bass, as well as two individuals on horns. Rearranging songs to include their peers and community on stage created a memorable moment for both the band, and the audience.

Only a year into their first meeting when “Days On A Wire” was recorded, Case is expressing themselves through rich instrumentals and insightful lyricism in a way that undeniably connects to their listeners. Through efforts like the Questions Of Space EP or “In Season”, Case is rightfully gaining attention listeners, and will surely be a band to keep an eye on. You’ll find the band’s next performance to be at The Taste of Chicago on July 14th, at the Goose Island Stage. If it’s anything like their Lincoln Hall performance, this upcoming show at The Taste of Chicago show will be one you won’t want to miss.