Review: Caveman – Caveman

29 Mar


Two years since their debut album CoCo Beware won our hearts and warmed our soul with its summer evening fuzziness, New York quintet Caveman has returned with its sophomore effort, the eponymously titled and expansive, Caveman.

Like a sprawling desert, Caveman is broad and spread out as far as the eye can see. Blissfully dreamy guitars wash away the world on lullabies of shimmering heat haze reverb, while the vocals of Matthew Iwanusa float wistfully through your mind and off to the distant horizon.

Such is its relaxing groove and epically laidback sensibility, it’s hard to imagine that the process for its conception involved the band engaging in a kind of pseudo-primal scream exercise. “We all went up to Jimmy’s grandmother’s place in New Hampshire,” explains 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”. He says it helped them relax and gave them the confidence to experiment with sound and lead to the vibe we hear on Caveman.

Given that the result is an album of near impeccable dreaminess, we could well soon be hearing tales of other artists engaging in the same process, though it is unlikely to yield the same effect. The secret of their success seems to be largely built on how comfortable they are with one another, and it is a comfort that transcends their music.

Iwanusa’s vocals are regret and doubt, they are relationships and self awareness, but they are also wonder and awe, hope and dreams. The almost intangibly hazy guitars take in the bagginess of Manchester, particularly on “Pricey”, as well as washing dream-like around on “Over My Head” and “The Big Push”. First single “In The City” is perhaps the closest track to those found on CoCo Beware, its relatively upbeat and slightly quicker pace resembling the fuzzy-pop of their debut album. Their music has evolved since then. It’s shoegaze, it’s dreampop, it’s fuzzy guitars and retro synths, it’s brush soft percussion and hauntingly soft melodies and vocals.

Listening to Caveman is like putting on a favourite pair of shoes, they have a slightly worn feel to them and they may be scuffed a little around the edges but they fit the contours of your feet perfectly and oh how comfortable they feel.

Caveman is out on 2 April via Fat Possum Records and can be ordered here.

One Response to “Review: Caveman – Caveman”

  1. name not supplied April 14, 2013 at 02:28 #

    we liked the second track more , but they’re both good

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