We’re only getting this news from Tweets doing the rounds at the moment but it seems that americana singer-songwriter Neal Casal passed away yesterday. As well as being an artist in his own right, he played guitar for various bands including Circles Around the Sun and their website currently has just a photo of Casal on it. Ryan Adams whose best-known records Casal played on has tweeted:
My heart is broken
What an honor to have known you, true believer. I love you. Go easy
“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain”#RIPNealCasal pic.twitter.com/4vlj3l2EoU
— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) August 27, 2019
Casal was a prominent figure on the americana scene when it underwent its late 90s surge in the UK and appeared on various americana compilations at the time including Uncut’s legendary ‘Sounds of the New West: The Best of Alternative Country’ CD from 1998. He also appeared on the final Friends of Americana UK CD in December 2017 which compiled 20 of the best tracks we’d ever been sent in the 14 years we ran the scheme. If you’ve never come across him before, here’s a taste of why he made such an impression at the time. RIP Neal.
Update: Pitchfork have confirmed that cause of death was suicide. A statement from Casal’s team reads: “As many of you know, Neal was a gentle, introspective, deeply soulful human being who lived his life through artistry and kindness. His family, friends and fans will always remember him for the light that he brought to the world. Rest easy Neal, we love you.”