It’s not uncommon for a musician’s origin story to begin with seeing a live show that becomes an epiphany. Cash Allen, a 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Toledo, Ohio, is one of those musicians. According to Allen, after seeing two solo performances by Avail frontman Tim Barry, he could see a path in music that made sense to him. He was drawn to the honesty and vulnerability of seeing one person command a crowd with an acoustic guitar. This began a whirlwind twelve months that would culminate in him releasing his first demo and playing his first live shows.
Despite being a teenager, Cash has endured significant life experiences that inform his approach to lyrics. Pouring his truth into music, no matter how painful, has become a cathartic experience he says. That process has led him to the forthcoming self-released EP 4 Songs and a Cover By Cash K. Allen.
As is evident in the EP’s first single “Fretboard”, he is writing from the gut and the heart. The lyrical approach tackles topics that ring distinctly of youth, however, they appeal to each of us universally. Tales of heartbreak, isolation, insecurity, finding your voice after experiencing trauma…themes that impact folks of all ages. Musically, Cash cites multiple influences ranging from the aforementioned Barry to Jeff Buckley and Alex G.
Not unlike many of his influences, he has almost exclusively shared stages with punk and hardcore bands. He says he feels “at home” amongst his comrades in that scene and they seem to be reciprocating those feelings.
4 Songs and a Cover By Cash K. Allen will be streaming everywhere August 23, 2023
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Photo by Levi Hutmacher