The impressive second album from New York quintet Caveman warrants comparisons to several songwriters with much longer back catalogues. The first, and the one that seems to be on all the critics’ lips, is to The Shins’ James Mercer. The similarity between the warm, rich emoting of singer Matthew Iwanusa and Mercer is unmistakable. But the pace of the tunes on Caveman are a little more leisurely than, say, Oh, Inverted World, so the comparative mind can’t help but wander elsewhere for a more perfect fit. Imagine if, instead of the acoustic guitar, City And Colour’s Dallas Green had dedicated himself to spacey effects pedals and synthesizers. He might wind up writing songs that sound a little like Caveman’s “Shut You Down” or “Ankles”. The main difference is that these philosophical takes on loneliness and loss are accompanied by jangling and psychedelic beach guitar riffs and steadily droning organs. Regardless of who Iwanusa sounds like when he puts words over the lush bed of resonating tones put forth by his bandmates, his voice makes the whole recipe sound like a late summer canoe trip. Not only is that something to support (as long as we’re huddled inside waiting out these late winter flurries), it’s something to look forward to.
Listen: “In The City, “Where’s The Time”, “Shut You Down” || Watch: Caveman Album Two