New York’s Caveman announce their upcoming album Otero War, to be released via Cinematic Music Group this Summer.
FADER reveals their first track “Never Going Back” here, which is available digitally everywhere tomorrow.
FADER calls it: “an optimistic, anthemic jam called “Never Going Back” that contains shades of Springsteen.”
Since Caveman first formed in 2010 they’ve claimed a spot for themselves at the center of the New York music scene, become in-demand DJs, toured the world (sharing stages with The War on Drugs, Jeff Tweedy, and Weezer), and received critical praise from the most prestigious media. Now the band–Matthew Iwanusa, lead guitarist James Carbonetti, bassist Jeff Berrall, keyboardist Sam Hopkins and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Prescott Clark–is aiming higher.
Caveman have their sights set on bigger goals, so on their third time around they made their biggest-sounding, most ambitious album yet.
Otero War was created over the course of three years, completely inverting the ramshackle methods used to make 2011’s CoCo Beware and their 2013 self-titled LP. This time frontman Matthew Iwanusa has taken the wheel of the creative process, bringing to it a level of patience, precision, and quality that exceeds anything he’s ever done before. Iwanusa wrote most of these songs in the back of tour vans with a laptop and a portable keyboard, then spent years rewriting, examining every part to make sure it was exactly right, and eventually abandoning an album’s worth of insufficiently killer songs before hitting the studio with the band. There the group refined the songs even further, filling them out with arrangements that bring together their distinctive musical personalities into one united whole, showing off the seemingly effortless collaborative energy that only comes with years of hard work. To help achieve the grander sound they were after, they brought in their ideal mixer, Michael Brauer (Coldplay, My Morning Jacket) to elevate the album even further.
While Iwanusa’s stepped further out front as a songwriter, arranger, and singer, Otero War is still a group effort made with contributions from the band’s entire unofficial extended family. Longtime friend and New York punk-scene legend Johnny T, who over the years has employed members as bartenders and DJ’s at his bars, helped the band get signed as the first rock act on Cinematic Music Group, home to rappers Joey Bada$$, G Herbo and Cam’ron. Albert Di Fiore, who engineered their last album, returns with an expanded role to produce alongside the band. Iwanusa’s father even contributes string arrangements.
It was more work, but worth it. The result is a whole new Caveman: The songs are stronger and more spacious, with carefully constructed melodies and a more judicious use of folksy four-part harmonies and washes of synthesizer pads, leaving more room for Iwanusa’s instantly memorable vocal parts. Iwanusa’s lyrics have also evolved from vaguely sketching a typical twenty-something’s romantic frustrations to examining larger, more broadly existential matters, like figuring out your place in the world.
Otero War will be released on Cinematic this summer. The band will tour extensively in support of the album, including festival appearances at SXSW, Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta, GA, Forecastle in Louisville, KY and more to be announced very soon.
Caveman Tour Dates
Mar 15-20 – Austin, TX – SXSW
May 15 – Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
July 15 – Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival