10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

CoCo Beware, the 2011 debut by the Brooklyn indie rock quintet Caveman, is a seductively somber and beautifully human-sounding album that plays with equal parts wide-eyed wonder and smoldering self-doubt. “A Country’s King of Dreams” sets the tone with slow, roomy drums that pulse over keyboard drones as acoustic guitars and electric six-string feedback balance each other out. The following “Decide” grooves slowly on a subtly buoyant rhythm that sits back and lets the flowing vocal melodies drive. The guitars on “My Time” resonate coolly with vintage wooden tones that pedal like a Velvet Underground tune. Contrasting this classic New York sound are the Pacific Northwest–style nasal-toned vocals of singer Matthew Iwanusa. Throughout CoCo Beware, he coos with a lullaby-friendly voice; check out “December 28th,” where he sings shadowy harmonies so sublime that they blend in with the accompaniment like another instrument. Those lush four-part harmonies play a pretty big part on Caveman’s debut, most noticeably on the soothing “Easy Water” and the closing dirge “My Room.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

CoCo Beware, the 2011 debut by the Brooklyn indie rock quintet Caveman, is a seductively somber and beautifully human-sounding album that plays with equal parts wide-eyed wonder and smoldering self-doubt. “A Country’s King of Dreams” sets the tone with slow, roomy drums that pulse over keyboard drones as acoustic guitars and electric six-string feedback balance each other out. The following “Decide” grooves slowly on a subtly buoyant rhythm that sits back and lets the flowing vocal melodies drive. The guitars on “My Time” resonate coolly with vintage wooden tones that pedal like a Velvet Underground tune. Contrasting this classic New York sound are the Pacific Northwest–style nasal-toned vocals of singer Matthew Iwanusa. Throughout CoCo Beware, he coos with a lullaby-friendly voice; check out “December 28th,” where he sings shadowy harmonies so sublime that they blend in with the accompaniment like another instrument. Those lush four-part harmonies play a pretty big part on Caveman’s debut, most noticeably on the soothing “Easy Water” and the closing dirge “My Room.”

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3:38
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2:44
4:01
4:35
3:24
3:50
3:59
3:56

About Caveman

Brooklyn-based quintet Caveman deliver an ambitious, sprawling take on indie pop by drawing influences from experimental rock, post-rock, wistful indie rock, and African music traditions. Matthew Iwanusa (lead vocals, guitar, drums), Jimmy “Cobra” Carbonetti (guitar), Stefan Marolachakis (drums, vocals), Sam Hopkins (synthesizer, vocals), and Jeff Berrall (bass, vocals) formed the band in January 2010, parlaying its attention-getting live shows into opening slots for bands like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Cursive, and the War on Drugs, as well as a spot on Stereogum’s 40 Best Bands of 2011 list. Their full-length debut, CoCo Beware, arrived digitally in September 2011, followed two months later in physical form on their own Magic Man!/ORG Music label, balancing varied elements like four-part harmonies, tribal drums, trickling keyboards, and hazy guitars with inspired results. Led by the single "In the City," which featured a video with actress Julia Stiles, a second, self-titled album arrived in 2013 on Fat Possum. The more subdued, reflective melodies of Caveman drew more than a few comparisons to the Shins, primarily for the similarities between the voices of Shins' vocalist James Mercer and Iwanusa. Dates at music festivals such as South by Southwest, Bonnaroo, and CMJ materialized, as did multiple tours throughout the U.S. and Europe, including support spots for Rogue Wave, Ra Ra Riot, and Frightened Rabbit. Marolachakis left the group in the fall of 2015, and with multi-instrumentalist Matthew Prescott Clark on board, Caveman released the bolder, crisper-sounding Otero War in 2016 via Cinematic Music Group (digital) and Relativity Entertainment (physical). ~ Chrysta Cherrie & Marcy Donelson

  • ORIGIN
    Brooklyn, NY
  • FORMED
    January, 2010

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