Artist Profile: Cold Cave

Today’s focus is on a electronic pop act know as Cold Cave. What drew me to this band was the eerie similarity in vocals  between front man/songwriter Wesley Eisold and Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. In fact, there also appears to be a resemblance between the musical style of both groups. In contrast, Cold Cave has the synth element which did not really exist back in ’76, but other than that, the groups sound very similar to me. And I dig it immensely…

“A Little Death to Laugh” is the first track I’ll delve into for this unique group. It’s a haunting track that has a negative vibe right in the beginning. The expertly mixed keyboard and array of electronic effects are at the core of this song, but I feel it’s Eisold’s chilling vocals and lyrics that stick the most for me in this song. It’s a great studio performance that constantly varies the instrumentals with my favorite sequence coming in @ 1:41. This will likely be hit or miss for a lot of y’all but if this one’s not for you, you may still like some of their other offerings posted below

“Life Magazine” is my favorite song by Cold Cave. Although it’s the least Joy Division-sounding of their work, it’s songs like this (along with Confetti) that give Cold Cave its own identity. It starts outs with a catchy, fuzzy electro beat  that contains a redeeming baseline for the final measure before the vocals kick in. Some echo effects are mixed in along with the lead female vocalist’s singing. I was unable to find out her name (and I looked for like, almost ten minutes) and she does not appear in any of Eisold’s other work that I’ve ever listened to. Regardless, she sounds transcendent in “Life Magazine.” That said, she is a nice change of pace from Eisold’s gloomy singing style. This song is a pure work of art and is the best platform to show off Cold Cave’s range and why they are one of the top indie acts in the biz right now.

That is one scary looking dude…he gives off a look that says “wait, please let me fix my collar….there, now I can carry out my original plan to MURDER YOU!” Don’t worry, sometimes musical greatness just comes in slightly different looking packages.

Yet another high energy, feel good song by Cold Cave comes in the form of “Oceans With No End”. It’s upbeat and rocks harder (@2:53) than a lot of their other work. Despite this, it still has a vintage 80’s new wave feel to due to the optimistic lyrics, “Waiting for the world to take me anywhere,” and  “I love my life,” for example. The best part of the song is done in a sequence starting @2:53 which includes a killer guitar riff and some muffled, hard to comprehend lyrics by Eisold. To top it off, there’s a cool video game sounding outro to wrap things up. I hope that “Oceans With No End” is a metaphor for what we can expect from Cold Cave. There a hip new group yet they’re keeping the momentum started by groups like  Joy Division, New Order, and The Smiths alive and well. Oh, and one last thing, I didn’t know Steve McQueen was in this band…the figure in the still below would sure suggest that.

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What I’m Listening To…

Parquet Courts-Stoned and Starving

I know little about Parquet Courts. I like what I’ve heard from them so far. They’re a lo-fi outfit with simple lyrics. They don’t try to do too much and let their musical talent do the talking for them. In “Stoned and Starving,” they feature a cool ass guitar riff that is prevalent for most of the song. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of echoing lyrics in a song, but here they make it work pretty well (@1:00). I find the lyrics to be humorous as well…”I was debating Swedish Fish, roasted peanuts, or licorice,” (If it were me, licorice would win in a landslide). That’s one I wish would bands would do more of…be funny. It seems like almost all groups take themselves WAAAAYYY too seriously…

In fact, If you’re not careful, you might even end up like these toolbags…

We’re much bigger than life itself…leading the way in douchebaggery is a necessary sacrifice we’ll gladly make in order to accomplish this.

That’s why it’s refreshing when an act like Parquet courts comes around. You can tell they’re able to kick back and enjoy what they do. See for yourself

Haim-Falling

Haim is relatively new to the indie music scene. They’re a trio of sisters that got their start playing in a band with their parents. Reminds me of the Partridge Family (of whom I would get confused with Swiss Family Robinson, a novel published nearly 200 YEARS before the arrival of the Partridge Family). They have since parted ways with their folks and are off doing their own thing. Honestly, I can’t get into most of what they’ve released so far. They sing so darn fast…I feel like I’m getting an episode of Gilmore Girls compacted into a 3 minute offering courtesy of this band. Their style of vocals is smooth but the songs are almost too glitch-ey and overly complex for me. “Falling” is an exception. A very catchy intro that feathers a vibrant bass drum beat kicks off this great track. Their voices blend very well, lyrics like “So keep calling, Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up” are sung while the backing vocalist proclaims she’s falling, in the meantime. I couldn’t understand most of the lyrics and when I looked them up I saw the website with them listed had a couple of question marks for the parts that are completely discernible. All that aside, “Falling” is one the better tracks I’ve heard in 2013 and I expect good things coming from this group in the future. If it doesn’t work out, then they can fall back on providing thought provoking commentary for countdown shows on Tru TV just like this asshole…

Lot of hate in this post….enjoy Haim

Toro Y Moi-Say That

When alt rock merges with club music, it equals bliss for this listener more times than not. Toro Y Moi has created some unparalleled songs in his time. I can’t really think of any artists I would compare to him. Perhaps a combo of Passion Pit with some elements of Fatboy Slim mixed in (espescially @1:20 with the female vocal mixing). “Say that” features a lot of keyboard/electronics that seem to have a calming effect. His soothing vocals contribute to that ideal as well. The song also contains some good baselines (@2:32) and together with all of the other musical excellence is going on here, it produces a song that’s would be perfect for a late night cruise in your car. There are few lyrics, the frontman sounds like he’s got some girl issues but that everything’s still going good on the whole. I like this sense of enthusiasm and optimism. He takes a situation in which most people would just bitch about; and vents in a fresh, “it’s all good” mentality that makes for a great listening experience.

I decided to include the music video (something I don’t normally do) because it features some spectacular solo dancing in the rainforest.