Last year, Cold Cave dropped a phenomenal album and single called Love Comes Close. On their new Matador release, Cherish the Light Years, love is here. Love of brilliantly programmed drums, glittery synth sequences and catchy lyrical phrasing. Love of the dark romanticism and glitter and doom of the early 80s. Love of the desire to feel love. Love of the mystery of imposing cities. Love of nostalgia for the past’s future.
In an interview with Jason Bentley last year, Cold Cave’s Wes Eisold intimated that the concept of Cold Cave was simply create the kind of music he wanted to make, without the pretense or intent of performing it live. Consequently, their sound capably shifts between the mechanized drums of Gothic industrial music and the melodic guitar licks of new wave. And given that it comes from such a personal place, the infectious pop they’ve created is undeniably informed by his influences. This is good thing considering they passionately borrow flourishes from a spectacular variety of inspirations, from Black Celebration-era Depeche Mode, Arthur Baker’s collaborations with New Order, Ministry’s With Sympathy, and The Walker Brother’s 1978 classic Nite Flights.
Like the aforementioned artists, Cold Cave is dramatic in the best possible way. They embrace early 80s maximalism and run head first in the direction of big hooks and big ideas. Album opener “The Great Pan is Dead” sounds as if the song started before you pressed play and showers you with wave after wave after wave of epic crashes, synth stabs, and howled proclamations of “YEEEAH! I will come running, gunning through the years...” Later in the album, “Burning Sage” sits on multiple unstable beds of menacing downtempo sequences and random sounds of pistons and valves until it crescendos oddly before it ends to disconcerting surprising effect. However the real stunner, the most perfect shining diamond and point at which Cold Cave really succeeds at being both homage to the past and its own exciting future is “Confetti.” It is a lesson in brilliant pop songcraft. Each part of the song comes in individually as if to inform you how-to-create a shimmering, truly ecstatic 5-minute masterpiece. I haven’t heard a single track this year that builds with this kind of pop precision. Exciting stuff for such a young outfit.
The album is out April 5 on Matador and is perfect for the ever-shifting moods and weather of the changing seasons.
-- Mario Cotto, KCRW Music Host
Cherish the Light Years will be available to stream on demand from March 28 through April 10, 2011 and will be released on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.
Cold Cave joins Jason Bentley on Morning Becomes Eclectic, Dec 7, 2009. Catch the full session.
Artist website: http://coldcave.net
1. The Great Pan is Dead
2. Pacing Around the Church
5. Underworld USA
6. Icons of Summer
7. Alchemy and You
8. Burning Sage
9. Villains of the Moon