photo credit: Philip Di Fiore and Christopher J. Lytwyn
Caveman’s Sophomore Album Out Now on Fat Possum
Caveman announce going on the road with Rogue Wave in June. Before that they’ll play the Sasquatch Festival (more tour dates to be announced). Tomorrow evening, Thursday April 18th, the band plays a free acoustic set at Barnes & Noble’s “Upstairs at the Square” alongside Hemlock Grove’s Brian McGreevy. This New York appearance at Union Square’s Barnes & Noble is fresh off the heels of their sold out Webster Hall homecoming album release show.
On their self-titled sophomore album, New York’s Caveman stretch their legs in a number of different, albeit cohesive, directions. Their highly anticipated return came out on April 2nd via Fat Possum Records. On the day of release, Caveman entered at #2 most added album in the CMJ charts, right after Postal Service, and it’s received glowing praise from critics and fans alike.
Caveman—a five-man vibe collective from NYC—released their first album in 2011. As first albums go, CoCo Beware was something akin to a moody statement of intent, a blueprint for a band quickly learning how to create horizon-wide rock songs that were equal parts intimate and expansive. Initially self-released and later snatched up by Fat Possum for re-release in early 2012, the record brims over with four-part harmonies, crystalline guitar lines, and tracks that see-sawed between echoey lullaby (“A Country’s King of Dreams”) to shoegaze-by-way-of classic-FM-radio sprawl (“Old Friend”). The album quickly elevated Caveman from local band to watch to a sizable touring draw and formidable live act, as evidenced by stints on the road with the likes of The War on Drugs, White Rabbits and Built to Spill. Despite being the work of a brand new band, CoCo Beware displayed a kind of Zen-like ease. It was the sound a five friends settling into a nice groove; the music that happens when, for whatever reason, a lot of seemingly disparate elements finally fall into place.
It should be noted that James Carbonetti, the band’s primary guitar player, also happens to be one of the most highly regarded guitar makers in New York City.
“We all went up to Jimmy’s grandmother’s place in New Hampshire,” says singer Matthew Iwanusa. “That’s where the new record kind of started. It was literally the attic of her barn, lit up by Christmas lights. We’d all sit in this one room together and one by one we’d all go into the bathroom and record ourselves making the most psycho noises possible. It actually felt kind of like a weird breakthrough. We were all confident and comfortable enough with each other to try out these experiments, which extended itself into the making of the new record…which is really just an evolution of this vibe that we’d been cultivating for long time.”
With that, the guys holed up in Brooklyn’s Rumpus Room to start recording in earnest with Nick Stumpf (who produced the band’s debut album) and Albert Di Fiore behind the controls. The album is a kind of sonic microcosm—a series of emotional yet tough mini-narratives operating within the same quixotic musical universe.
As a result, the guitars on Caveman are bigger and more expansive, the rhythm section is tighter and more adventurous, the keyboards more opaque and pronounced. Like a marriage between Tangerine Dream, late period Slowdive, and Lindsey Buckingham, tracks like their new single “In the City” and “Ankles” boast synth lines that sound simultaneously retro and futuristic, while “Pricey” and “Never Want to Know” overflow with guitar sounds that could have miraculously floated off an old Cure album.
And while Caveman’s music could certainly operate on the level of dreamy soundscape and still be excellent, the depth of feeling in front man Matthew Iwanusa’s lyrics helps weave the songs deeply into your memory. When Iwanusa sings Where’s the time to waste on someone else’s life? on “Where’s the Time,” it’s hard not to read between the lines. Wonder and regret seem to fuel the record in almost equal measure.
* w/ Rogue Wave
4/18 – New York, NY @ Barnes and Noble “Upstairs at the Square” 7pm (FREE)
5/7 – New York, NY @ The AMP Awards for Music and Sound (private event/info on request)
5/23-25 – George, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
6/15 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House *
6/16 – Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio *
6/19 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat *
6/20 – Cambridge, MA @ the Sinclair *
6/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg *
6/22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
6/23 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre *
6/25 – Toronto, ON @ the Mod Club *
6/26 – Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre *
6/27 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
6/28 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall *
6/29 – Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe *
Recent praise for Caveman:
“…dreamily rendered, deftly executed pop-rock is the stuff of painstaking craftsmanship and creative relentlessness.” – NPR
“…their command of pace results in a climax that feels natural and earned. But the real star of “In the City” is lead singer Matthew Iwanusa, whose voice has an unexpected, striking richness. He demands attention, even in the midst of a weighty arrangement; if Caveman continues to embrace a more expansive sound, he’ll continue to shine.” – Pitchfork
“New Wave daydreamers…Caveman’s earth-toned synth tunnel for “Where’s the Time.” Dusty chamber-folk rarely sways so effortlessly.” – SPIN
“…a rich, artful lullaby” – Fader
Caveman – CAVEMAN tracklisting:
For sale HERE
01 — Strange to Suffer
02 — In the City
03 — Shut You Down
04 — Where’s the Time
05 — Chances
06 — Over My Head
07 — Ankles
08 — Pricey
09 — I See You
10 — I Never Want to Know
11 — The Big Push
FREE TO SHARE:
“Where’s The Time” HERE
“In The City” HERE
“Over My Head” HERE
Jeff Berrall – bass, backing vocals
James Carbonetti – guitar
Sam Hopkins – keys, backing vocals
Matthew Iwanusa – vocals, guitar, percussion
Stefan Marolachakis – drums, backing vocals
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