Sandcastle has been a staple in the underground circle for over a decade. Defined by his clever lyricism, distinct vocal style, and relentlessly catchy melodies. Sandcastle is the moniker for songwriter Sam Kassel, who records the majority of Sandcastle’s output on his own.
Wild Legend was self produced in south Philadelphia between 2011 and 2012. Wild Legend is Sandcastle’s first attempt at creating something that he viewed as “normal” Pop music. Taking inspiration from Greek tragedies, classic literature, mythology, and his time living alone in a yurt in the mountains of Arizona—Without any pretension.
Sam’s lyrics are delivered sincerely and take on a mystical Melville-esque tone hinting at truer meanings lying deep within the sub text. It can take time to delve into the depths of Sam’s lyrics, but the accessibility of the music helps cultivate the listener to make the effort. Standouts include the minimal bass centered “ Vision Of The Future ”, the ultra-catchy hooks of ” Skull Valley ”, and the hypnotic “Soldier Of The Light ”. This reissue LP includes a previously unreleased bonus track “Different Kind Of Paradise” which was recorded shortly after and is finally seeing the light of day. Wild Legend is the kind of album that can be enjoyed over and over by the cultivated listener with increasing pleasure.
Kisses For Witches was recorded following Sandcastle’s debut tour of the southern U.S in 2012. Sam was in a place of growth and introspection expanding on his lo-fi folk roots and creating a new sound entirely its own. The far out country tinged Deena and the driving Dream Catcher, perfectly illustrate the happy mania of a hopeless romantic. While Tracks like Antonia and Diamond Heart tap into more bittersweet feelings. The album as a whole reinforces classic Sandcastle theme’s like desire, adventure, mysticism, and spirituality with an undercurrent of anxiety and vulnerability. Throughout Kisses for Witches Sam demonstrates a command over language and melody, and an emotional intelligence rarely heard in this kind of music.
“I defy you to get the opener “Deena” from this astoundingly good album by Philly’s Sandcastle out of your head.” – The Big Takeover
“Warping vocals encircle in a heady simplicity. A timeless minstrel tone meshes with modern twists and turns, creating an imaginative hybrid.” – The Deli Mag
” Kassell manages to make even these pained experiences feel poignant rather than reveling in the darkness they exhibit.” – Beats Per Minute
“It’s one of those rare works of art that combine a visionary, creative approach to sound with an unrelenting, intoxicating sense of melody.” – Sub//Genre