Caves: Jupiter Ascending

10 Dec

The thing I love about Caves is I can always rely on them to delightfully surprise me.

I first came across this band opening for Bateleur mid last year, and was super excited to see them play again at Sidestreet Fest in Woodstock a couple weeks ago. Their performance was Bateleur-meets-Sex-Bob-omb-fronted-by-Michael-Cera-instead-of-Michael-Cera-playing-Scott-Pilgrim; that is to say they combined ethereal layered instrumental with solid, obstinate rock beats and indie-rock, palpably human vocals, resulting in a sound bizarre and delightful enough to come from a kaleidoscopic parallel universe passing itself off as our own.

As I was enjoying this band, somebody nice came and gave me a wonderful envelope of odds and ends and a link to Caves’ latest collection of music, which was just excellently lovely of them, I thought, because nobody seems to put that kind of thought and effort into “please go and listen to our music” these days.

Jupiter Ascending is a fifty-minute musical journey that wakes up contemplatively in a studio, wonders outside through a dense jungle and eventually finds itself at sea on a huge, clanging industrial ship, before taking off in a rocket. It will remind you of Cold War Kids in its conversationally clanging guitar intro; Neutral Milk Hotel in its more straightforward, folk-song components, the White Album for its we-answer-to-nobody exploration of sound, and British Sea Power in its transformation of sound effects into music and music into a sound effect of the mind.

They’re not a huge hype, and (part of their otherworldly allure is that) they’re very difficult to locate on the internet (I’m working on quite a credible theory that they live in an actual cave with the bassist from Bateleur), but I urge you for your deity’s sake to listen to Jupiter Ascending and keep your ear to the ground for anywhere Caves might be playing, because this band really is one of the more deliciously bizarre things I’ve found lurking around Cape Town.

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