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MP3 of the Day #762: Cave Painting

 
By on Tuesday, 25th June 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Who doesn’t want a free mp3 from Cave Painting? (That was a rhetorical question.) In case you’re behind on the times and don’t have the Brighton band’s brilliant debut album ‘Votive Life’ released last year, here’s your chance to listen to and own the track ‘Nickel’ without your wallet getting any lighter. Enjoy below.

Want more Cave Painting? Read my review of the LP here, listen to my interview with singer Adam Kane here and you can catch my coverage of them playing the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 at this year’s SXSW over here.

 

Video of the Moment #1160: Cave Painting

 
By on Thursday, 28th March 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Brighton’s Cave Painting recently released the video for ‘Rio’, one of the most atmospherically beautiful tracks off their debut album ‘Votive Life’ released in 2012. (Read my review of the album here; do yourself a favour and get this album!) The song is the title track to a new EP by the band to be released on the 28th of April. To be honest, I was expecting golden beaches and palm trees in this video, which is not what you get…

In case you missed it, I had a lovely chat with Cave Painting’s frontman Adam Kane, which you can listen to here. I also caught them at their British Music Embassy afternoon performance on day 2 of the festival.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0a7p2L937M[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2013: Day 2 afternoon – British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 and Blah Blah Blah Science Party at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop – 12th March 2013

 
By on Monday, 25th March 2013 at 2:00 pm
 

Probably the greatest thing about SXSW is that nearly any time of day or night – or maybe any time before 11 AM – there is someone, somewhere gigging. The numerous day parties given by blogs, magazines, labels, PR companies and anyone else with the money and the get up and go to put on a show are often free and provide an entirely different atmosphere than the evening counterparts. I mean, seriously, where else can you see a show with wonderful sunshine framing the stage? And not to make you jealous or anything, but we had 5 straight days of perfect weather: around 30 C or above and not a cloud in the sky. Many day parties are free too, making it possible to see amazing bands for absolutely nothing if you don’t have the means to buy one of those expensive badges.

On Wednesday, the festival was already in full swing, which meant there was a whole host of great parties to drop in on. The British Music Embassy’s first full afternoon line-up beckoned, and I arrived just in time to miss the complimentary fish and chips (darn) but partake in the open bar (yes!). And then I was off to an interview in the afternoon sun with Adam Kane of Cave Painting, which you can listen to here.

Man Without Country SXSW

After the interview and a quick photo op with the whole band (see photo at top), I snuck back into Latitude 30 to learn if strobes work at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I arrived just in time to catch the second half of a set by Southern Welsh electronic outfit Man Without Country. I liked what I was hearing – dense, complex soundscapes with an occasional guitar – but I wondered if it was just too early in the day, if people were still hungover from the night before, or if there had been insufficient alcohol flowing that Wednesday afternoon, but the crowd reaction was less than stellar.

Cave Painting SXSW

Next up was something I’d been waiting for for months. It was Cave Painting’s turn on the British Music Embassy stage. This year I noticed there was much more fog being used at Latitude 30, but of all the acts I saw on that stage, it was the Brighton band’s set that used it most effectively, making for a bewitching atmosphere that fit songs from their debut album ‘Votive Live’ perfectly. Singles ‘Leaf’ and ‘Gator’ were more beautiful live than I ever could have imagined.

Sadly though, instead of staying put and relaxing with friends old and new I’d been reunited with at Latitude 30, I had to depart – and miss NZCA/Lines – in attempt #2 to catch the 1975 at the Blah Blah Blah Science party at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop. Your worst enemy at SXSW is often the clock; I had hoped I could fit in the 1975 neatly before the reinvented Charlotte Church went on back at Latitude 30. (I’m still kind of gobsmacked that we saw Charlotte sat cross-legged on the sidewalk, doing her makeup in a handheld mirror. Talk about down to earth. )

Wildcat Wildcat SXSW

Unfortunately, this plan was soon dashed. The Blah Blah Blah Science party was running an hour late, and equipment and successful soundchecks were proving difficult for all bands, including the first band I eventually saw on the rooftop, Wildcat! Wildcat! I’m not sure what the great appeal of this band was to the SXSW crowd. I know I am cynical because I hear so much music, but the rock/electro formula made famous by MGMT is starting to get stale now. I’m not a fan of male falsettos, much less falsetto harmonies. And a repeated theme throughout the week was ill-advised covers, of which Wildcat! Wildcat! became involved with trying to do a reimagined ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’ that Tears for Fear wouldn’t welcome. Sorry, but there is only one band – Dutch Uncles – that is allowed to cover that song. After they were done, I kept looking at my watch and getting anxious. When would the 1975 start already? There was something wrong with the adapters for their Macbook and synthesiser, so they would just have to go on without either of them. Groan. The synthesiser is a massive part of their sound…

The 1975 SXSW

However, I was buoyed by the number of punters crammed in on the rooftop to see this band, no doubt having heard the word around town that they’d killed it the night before at Huw Stephens’ UK Trade and Investment showcase (if you recall, that was the same appearance your fearless editor was stuck stood outside Latitude 30 with no hope of seeing anything from the window). Despite the technical difficulties, the 1975 looked ubercool, as a gentle breeze wafted through under the tent roof, tousling singer Matthew Healy’s hair and the band rocked out to ‘Chocolate’ and the audience-demanded ‘Sex’. Before I had to rush back to Latitude 30, I had a word with Matthew to “big up Manchester”, telling him we would be sure to catch them with their full equipment set up in DC on the 30th of March. Then I was off again.

After powwowing later in the week with new band, photographer and blogger friends, Charlotte Church was their biggest draw all week. And I missed her. Sigh. Nevertheless, I had headed back to the British Music Embassy to see a band I’d been wanting to see at last year’s Great Escape. In Brighton, I was thwarted on the third day of the Great Escape 2012 by their frontman being poorly, only to find out they’d been replaced at the Dome by Splashh. I am, of course, speaking of Sheffield’s Reverend and the Makers. There seems to be some weird disconnect with nearly every single British friend of mine who does not like this band; I don’t know how you could *not* like them. I love to dance and I love electropop, so the Rev and his crew fit me to a T.

Reverend and the Makers SXSW 1

Remember how I said that strobes didn’t work a couple hours earlier? Well, wipe that image out of your head because the crowd did a 180 when it came time for Reverend and the Makers. This was also my first encounter with a very energetic American bloke super dancer in a Hurts t-shirt who Jon McClure later in this set anointed as the best dancer in the club. (The same man later showed up at several other gigs I attended- it’s nice to know there are Americans who love British music and with such dedication as much as I do. British bands, take note: there are more of us from where I came from.)

Reverend and the Makers SXSW 2

Playing mostly from their third UK album and debut American album released this month, ‘@Reverend_Makers’, the band wowed, turning the British Music Embassy into an unlikely but an entirely enjoyable and hedonistic rave even before tea time. I can say without a doubt as an American that this was one of the most incredible shows I’ve ever been to. Equally chuffed with the American reception was McClure himself, who I nabbed after the set for a lovely chat. Listen to the interview here. It was only the second day of SXSW Music and I was already getting a delightful Northern – specifically Sheffield – vibe and I couldn’t have been happier. And that’s what SXSW is all about, isn’t it? Getting closer to the music that means so much to you in a way that you never imagined. Only the afternoon of day two, and I was already on cloud nine. You’re brilliant, SXSW.

 

SXSW 2013 Interview: Adam Kane of Cave Painting

 
By on Friday, 15th March 2013 at 3:05 pm
 

Singer Adam Kane of Brighton’s dream pop band Cave Painting was kind enough to sit down with me before the band’s performance on Wednesday’s British Music Embassy day showcase at Latitude 30. We talked about the band’s musical influences, their wonderful debut album ‘Votive Life’ released last year and much more. Listen to the interview below.

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) MP3 of the Day #737: Cave Painting

 
By on Friday, 15th February 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Brighton’s Cave Painting, who released the fantastic ‘Votive Life’ last year that I only recently got around to reviewing.

Good thing I got that review out this week though, as there’s word they will releasing an EP in America on the 26th of March, called ‘Midnight Love’. (This track was released on their UK debut EP, ‘You’ll Be Running Soon’, in 2011.) But if you’re late to the Cave Painting game, you can grab the mp3 courtesy of Rolling Stone here.

Catch the band showcasing in Austin at SXSW 2013 in March. (We previewed them in the pop UK acts chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013.) So far, according to the SXSW Music schedule released yesterday, they have been announced to be playing the British Music Embassy afternoon showcase at Latitude 30 (San Jacinto Boulevard) on Wednesday the 13th of March. More details soon.

 

(SXSW 2013 flavoured!) Album Review: Cave Painting – Votive Life

 
By on Monday, 11th February 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

Cave Painting Votive Life coverI have a very good excuse on why my review of the debut album from Brighton’s Cave Painting is so late The album was released in September 2012 but I didn’t get my promo copy until the week before I was due to leave for Australia. So in a rush, I popped the CD in my car so I could listen to it on the way downtown to see Husky gig at Red Palace. I was rewarded with one of the chilliest and possibly one of the best albums of 2012 you’ve never heard. I am so pleased that they will be bringing their dreamy, yet evocative pop to South by Southwest next month, where I am positive they will make a big impression.

I mention Australia because when I was down under, I had some conversations with our friends at the AU Review about what I consider a rhythmic pop sound that seems to be inherently Australian (think Men at Work at the height of their fame in the ‘80s). However, listening to ‘Votive Life’, it was clear this sound I was trying to link to Oz wasn’t Oz’s exclusively. Listen to Cave Painting’s ‘Gator’ (watch the video below), with carefree vocals, bouncy marimba and animal calls, and you will see what I mean. I dare you not to shout “get up!” with the band, it’s so infectious. Is it a song about carpe diem, grabbing onto life by the horns, riding the wave? Or is it a song about getting intimate, feeling that desire when you’re having sex? To be honest, I don’t really care when it’s as poppy as this. A little slower but with a similar vibe is ‘So Calm’. This song is so relaxing with its dreamy lyrics and as a mesmerising bass line, I’ve chosen it to sync as my daily morning alarm, so ‘So Calm’, not an annoying clock beeping, is there to ease me into the start of the day. Try it. You’ll think you’re waking up in a tropical paradise, not an unwelcome rush to get to the office. You can get it for free from this previous MP3 of the Day post.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-UXPhJV2GI[/youtube]

But there are two songs that for me epitomise ‘Votive Life. The first is opening track ‘Leaf’. Lush guitar feedback usher the song in, and there’s a sexy as hell bass line throughout. But there’s an underlying solemnness delivered by the lyrics: “You are not alone in all that you’re going through / with this distance now, this broken ground” and the repeated refrain of “where the young go”. It’s a song about regret, a song about wanting to go back to a more innocent. Not usually themes in lounge-y, chill albums, are they? But this is an album of surprises.

The other is ‘Rio’ which appears later in the album. I’m not entirely sure what it’s about, but this is how I read it: the start is similar to Friendly Fires’ ‘Paris’ in which the protagonist is asking his girl to go far away to this magical place of Rio, as a place to escape. But upon being rebuffed, either for this invitation or in general as a suitor, he muses that it’s hard, and “find[s] it hard to let go / when we’ve been going so long / now I’m lying alone, feeling like I’m hollow”. It’s a heart-wrenchingly, achingly gorgeous study of a broken heart. To say that I’ve lost a few tears while listening to this song would be a gross understatement.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoJzCdBNoXU[/youtube]

From ‘So Calm’ on, just wrap your ears around this album and float downstream in an imaginary boat, miles from anywhere. ‘Only Us’ and ‘Pair Up’ are beauteously laid back odes to love. While more in your face percussive, maybe in a way if Django Django might be if they weren’t so manic and trippy, ‘Handle’ and ‘Simoleon’ still maintains an air of cool. The tribal drumming of ‘Forming’ isn’t heavy handed, it’s freeing, along with the soaring vocals; ‘Nickel’ is set apart by a crescendo of horns in ‘Nickel’ with a melodic guitar line.

And then there is a matter of the interludes. Generally, I’m not a fan of albums that these short instrumental bits bridging one song to another, or one part of an album to another. So few artists seem to be able to sort this out correctly, causing listeners to press the skip button when they encounter these interludes. Proper interludes should be enjoyed and relished, but that’s dependent on these musical segues being placed in the right place, and that they’re properly developed. One of my favourite albums of all time, Stephen Duffy’s 1993 album ‘Music in Colors’, is a shining example of the latter, bridging the unusual addition of esteemed violinist Nigel Kennedy’s contributions to Duffy’s pop with brief yet highly whimsical instrumentals. After ‘Only Us’, an instrumental version of ‘Gator’ makes a welcome ‘re-appearance’, and then following on from the emotionally raw ‘Rio’ is ‘Me You Soon’, which reaches heavenly heights. Which, aptly, is a good description of ‘Votive Life’ as a whole.

8.5/10

‘Votive Life’, the debut album from Cave Painting, is out now on Third Rock Recordings. Catch the band showcasing in Austin for SXSW 2013 in March. (We previewed them in the pop UK acts chapter of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013.)

Listening companion: Stephen Duffy featuring Nigel Kennedy – ‘Music in Colors’

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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