I Am Casting is helmed by Cole Guerra - on Carnival Barkers, Cole layered vocals, keyboards, guitars, and percussion, and then invited a few guest musicians to spice the soup. The resulting music is tuneful and aesthetically mischievous, viscerally satisfying while cerebral and ambitious. The lyrics are shaped to a considerable degree by the current political landscape - they are about manipulation, about predators and clowns, about appeals to fear and anger and tribe. This is an album held together by the psychology of “carnival barkers” and those impacted by them.
Cole released one prior LP (Scarves & Knives) under his own name. That LP, co-produced by JD Foster and Cole, was described as a “darkly beautiful debut… fresh and utterly captivating” (Performing Songwriter), the music conveying a “moonlit symphonic sweep” (No Depression). A Vintage Guitar magazine review highlighted the strength of Cole’s offbeat approach to songwriting, praising the “complex melodies that float rather than progress from A to B to C… the slow-motion fever dreams inside Guerra’s tunes ensnare with a unique alien beauty”.