Album Review: Cave Days, An unlikely mix of heartbreak ballads

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Cave Days emerged onto the New York indie rock scene in 2010 which consisted of the original members, Jonathan Murphy and Erik Luebs, who you’ll hear in Cave Days EP.

They composed, recorded, and rehearsed an unlikely mix of heartbreak ballads and an electronic hodgepodge of iridescent sound trinkets in a loft building that is a staple of the Brooklyn art community in Bushwick.

Nowadays, the duo-gone- trio is guitarist-singer Jonathan, bassist Richard Thomas and drummer Robert Corsetti. The band seemed to be a young powerhouse bringing Jon’s wispy and thoughtful ballads into tangible and danceable pop ballads.

Closer” is a perfect choice for the opening song because it’s upbeat and has a great indie vibe. The song is noninvasive and catchy much like the entire album; it’s a bit more mature and attentive to detail. “Unconditional” can be considered a favorite this EP. The track begins to mold the lyrical content and story of the album. It’s a song of loss and heartache that’s very well done; it doesn’t make you feel depressed even though it seems to be an expression of sadness. The guitars and soft electronic touches that keeps “Unconditional” moving forward while holding a temperate pace. It also adds layers of intensity without overwhelming your senses. “Just a memory now, it keeps driving me insane” are words that are powerful and understandable.

Beat Up Kids” is particularly special because of its honesty and tasteful, sweet composition. The off-syncopated rolling drums bring a sense of naivety to the track. Although Jon sings about adult relationship issues, you can really get a feel of the youthful side of his pain. While Unconditional is an admission to regret, “Beat Up Kids” is about coping. In order to seemingly avoid redundancy, Cave Days makes “Same Mistakes, Only Sooner” an instrumental song that is just as whimsical and crisp as the other tracks. The title becomes the premise of the song, expressing Murphy’s awareness that he’s made adult mistakes at a very young age. You listen to him struggle through the breakup of a young relationship and not having the capacity to make mature enough decisions.

All Voices, Just Noises” picks up the tempo with its catchy, memorable lyrics. The song’s worth remembering and repeating in your head over and over again, perhaps because this is a song of apology. Jon has a way of expressing himself in such a clear and candid manner, that you can understand where he’s coming from. This track’s a part of Jon’s artistic and personal process, and his lyrics are mixed with sorrow but also of acceptance of a loss of his relationship, but he still finds the need to obtain closure. The last song “Kodachrome Beach” seems to be about going back in time when he and his love first met. There’s a beautiful addition of a bike spoke spinning throughout the song that really shows Lueb’s quiet genius.

Cave Days EP is a memorable and addictive album, bringing strong experimental aesthetics to sensitive and regretful love songs. It’s a relatively complex album that tells the story of a painful time in Murphy’s personal life — upbeat compared to the lyrical content of the album, but all in all, it is a truthful, creative, and realistic account of issues that young men go through all over the world.

Free Downloads from Cave Days EP by Cave Days