For the past year and a half, Dirk Darmstaedter has been stockpiling a stunning new collection of ten songs, grabbing time to write in hotel rooms while on tour across Europe, in the offices of Tapete Records (the label he co-founded) or at his house in the countryside near his native Hamburg. The result is Appearances, Dirk's sixteenth release, this one under the guise of Me And Cassity. Appearances manages to sound as fresh as any first record by an emerging artist, full of energy and urgency, while at the same time tempered by a certain level of maturity, experience and sensibility that has built Dirk's reputation as "one of Germany's underground pop heroes," according to the New York Times. The agenda for the new album was to record everything live in the studio, right onto analog tape in order to achieve a more old-school sound. "Fuller, louder, towering, climactic," said Dirk. "This is how I learned to make records from folks like Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley (Elvis Costello, David Bowie, Morrissey) and Fred Maher (Material, Lou Reed)." The Me And Cassity group, featuring drummer Lars Plogschties, bassist Ben Schadow, keyboardist Nikko Weidemann, stormed through a five-day recording session at Le Chatelet studios in Hamburg's Altona neighborhood to create this ten-song collection, which references influences such as Todd Rundgren, The Lovin' Spoonful, Nick Drake, and Bob Dylan. A wide panorama of moods, the songs on Appearances range from sweet to passionate, pastoral to gritty, vulnerable to tough. Sparkle and hum, truth and grit. Appearances can be deceiving, but not this album.