Ahead of the release of her new album Baby, which is released on March 31st via Dead Oceans, Casey Dienel has put together this guide to Scituate. Whilst this might not be the track-by-track guide to Baby that you were looking for, this is the place that has no doubt shaped the musician that she it (everyone is influenced by their surroundings, right?)


Located smack dab between Boston and Plymouth, directly on the coast is my home town of Scituate. It's part of a small constellation of towns that make up the South Shore of Massachusetts.

It features classic New England architecture: wind-whipped clapboard houses on the sea, white steepled churches, stone fences that once demarcated the farmland here. Remarkably, it's still relatively cut off from things. You won't find much in the way of chains, except for Dunkin' Donuts because it's no secret their iced coffee is like crack to us New Englanders. Time runs on its own accord. There's barely any cell phone service. If you're an artist with even trace amounts of ADD, it's a great place to settle in and work. I'm down in New York for work pretty often (it's a short 4 hrs by bus or train from Boston), so living here is perfect antidote.

Scituate's pride and beauty lies in its beaches, each distinctly different from the other. Egypt sits on a dune made of flat, smooth stones. Peggotty has a pebbly texture. Humarock is one of the largest, and looks similar to the big, sandy beaches on the outer edges of Cape Cod like Herring Beach. At one point Humarock was connected to the town, but a bad storm a century ago separated it.

I grew up on Minot Beach, so I'm totally biased when I say it is the most beautiful beach of them all. Over the years ships have been wrecked on the shoals during bad storms (we call them Nor'Easters). Last summer a snorkeler found two wrecks by Bar Rock. In the summer I like exploring all the inlets by kayaking. At low tide you can walk out to Bar Rock, and at high tide kids like to jump off the back of Well Rock. Every day the water is a different shade of blue, green, or grey. I've been lucky to look at it for the better part of 20 years and I still never tire of it.

From Minot you can see Minot's Ledge Light. It got it's nickname "Lover's Light" because the light blinks in a 1-4-3 pattern. It sits off the coast so it's only accessible by boat. During bad Nor'Easters, it can become so caked it looks like a popsicle stuck in the sea.

North of the beach is my favorite place in the world, The Glades. It's a private estate and (technically) not open to the public. To the east a granite promontory juts right out into the surf. It was one of the main drop-off points for rum runners during prohibition (how else do you think the Kennedy family made all their money?) As a kid this was my playground. I would hike out there on the rocks or venture in the woods to play by the abandoned naval watchtower from WWII. It's a little bit creepy out there, sometimes. I've heard disembodied voices out in the woods. It's the first place I head to when I've been away from home for awhile or when I need to clear my mind.

On the western side of the Glades is Strawberry Point. Most of the peninsula is wooded, surrounded by miles of salt marshes. This might be one of my favorite views in the town, because the marsh grass changes in hue from season to season--starting out lushly verdant in the spring before taking on the color of honey in the autumn. In the autumn when the foliage is at its peak, there's no better place to go for a hike.

My other favorite spot to wander around in is Ellis Estate. The Scituate Arts Association operates out of the Ellis House house. It was actually the setting of an Italian horror film from the '80s called House By The Cemetary by Lucio Fulci. As one can expect, it looks the part of a creepy old victorian home. Nowadays the house is used for art studios. One day I'd really like to do a music residency here. Maybe open it up to women who want to learn more about production and engineering.

Scituate's nickname is the Irish Riviera. Naturally, St. Patrick's Day here is an utter shitshow. T.K. O'Malley's is the hub in the harbor and has one of the best views of the Old Scituate Lighthouse on Cedar Point. In the summer you can watch the sailboats and lobster trawlers coming in to dock from the patio.

I'm committing treason by admitting this, but my watering hole Mr. Dooley's pub in Cohasset Village. I actually live closer to Cohasset proper and it's quaint over there. I can fly a little more under the radar. It's neither too divey nor fancy. If I have the time, I'll go ice skating then tuck into Mr. Dooley's for a Guinness.

When conditions are right, I go skating at the Hingham Rec Skating Club. We call it "the red shack." It looks as if it's sinking into the mud, and inside is a wood stove and hot cocoa.

You cannot come to New England without eating a lobster roll. Hingham Lobster Pound's take is not strictly traditional (usually they come on a hot dog bun), but it is my favorite. It's on a toasted, buttered sesame bun. The Lobster has just the slightest hint of mayo and fresh lemon. It's simple but perfect. Take this and head to Sandy Beach in Cohasset and take in the sunshine. Clam chowder's good here. Not too thick and creamy as some of them can be.

There's no shortage fish mongers, when I feel like cooking I go to Rocky Neck Fish. It's inside of The Fruit Centre grocery, tucked away in the back of the store. They have a small selection which is what you want because that means it's fresh. They carry oysters from Cotuit and Duxbury, lobsters, and gorgeous bluefish from the bay. Island Creek Oysters are some of the best I've ever had. In the summer nothing is better than picking up some bay scallops or lobster to grill back home. The Cohasset Lobster Pound is a great, too.

Last stop is Loring Hall. The building has been an assembly hall in Hingham since 1852 and was renovated in the 1930s into a single screen movie theatre. Very little has changed since then, adding (I think) to its charm. I think if I hadn't become a musician I would have liked to work in film in some capacity. I always sit center of the first row in the balcony. The place is supposed to be haunted. In highschool we'd go to any foreign film with subtitles, sit up there and crouch real low in the seat and invent our own dialogue. You know, classic small town stoner-kid activity. Last week I saw 12 Years A Slave here and by the end the entire theatre was bawling over Lupita Nyong'O's performance.