Daydreaming in the Sidecar | “Along for the Ride” by Cassidy Mann

Daydreaming in the Sidecar | “Along for the Ride” by Cassidy Mann

Ashe Burr, Writer/Volunteer

I want to begin this Jam of the Day  with a story. When I was around 12 years old, I went tubing on a lake in Western Michigan with the family of my mother’s friend. There were a pair of tubes that were being towed behind a single boat. Throughout the course of the day, one of the children on the other tube leaped to the one I was on and started pulling us off. I ended up flopping on the surface of the lake for what seemed like several minutes, only to let go. Even with a life jacket on, I couldn’t discern what direction was up until I floated to the surface. 

Even with six years and over a thousand miles separating my story from the release of “Along for the Ride” by Winnipeg-based singer Cassidy Mann, the stories featured have a very similar atmosphere. The artist, with ties to the Sagkeeng First Nation, released the aforementioned single a little over six months after her first label release, the EP If It’s Not Forever, which featured my song of the summer, “Since I’ve Met You.” While the EP didn’t reach much acclaim, it helped Mann to find her place in the sea of indie folk that litters the depth of Spotify; this new single firmly planted her feet in the style. 

Mann takes a simple chord progression played on an acoustic guitar, and uses this as a foundation for the rest of the song to be built around. Her vocals haunt the track, with a unique melding of melancholy and whimsy. The stripped-back production lends itself to highlighting her voice. The lyrics of the song also play into the blending of melancholy and whimsy that Mann has so carefully crafted. 

I was your sidekick, your right-hand man /

You had the blueprints, the better plan /

It was easier to love /

Someone else’s dream.

In a press release found on the Canadian music publicity site Killbeat Music, Mann said that the song was about “getting caught up in someone else’s life and losing your agency for a while. I’ve experienced that in all sorts of relationships, romantic and platonic and it’s always destabilising. Usually by the time you realize you’ve lost yourself in someone, you’re so deep into it that the idea of getting out feels impossible.”

Mann is someone whose main themes of her songs surround moments in relationships. This song finds itself thrust into the depths of a relationship, where you can’t seem to separate your personal identity from the other person. It’s like being flung from a raft on a lake and being unable to find the surface. It’s almost as if when you dedicate yourself to someone and begin to adopt their characteristics yourself, you lose grasp on yourself. Sitting in the sidecar of someone else’s ride can be a welcome change of pace, but you can’t hit the brakes if you are just along for the ride.