In the wake of a Rocking the Daisies Green Village slot this year and a brief trip to the UK, Port Elizabeth hailing Alex Cavan has released his second full-length offering, “Introspection”. The thirteen-track album was recorded in the mountains of Hogsback at Impo Studio, and is something of a languid, extended musical journey. Ambient acoustic tendencies take to the fore but an undercurrent of lurking energy and almost rock like stirrings seem to simmer beneath the surface.
For the most part the album follows a simple and prevailing easy acoustic melody path. ‘Waterfall’ opens the offering with off-kilter acoustic layers which gather momentum in gradual waves, while ‘No More Road’ encompasses an echoing, layered melody line with defined psychedelic tendencies woven into the jangling guitar. His is a strangely refreshing old school sound which rings true every so often to Dave Matthews’ acoustic intricacies, and roughened vocals.
‘Show You Why’ navigates the mixed feelings of young parenthood and being away from ones child for an extended period of time; it’s quietly nostalgic and touching all at once. ‘Deep Blue’ is a stripped down, acoustic palate cleanser which is followed by a five minute interlude of a spontaneously recorded jam session and rambling conversation on a rainy day, which provides a deeply tangible and unique aspect to the album as a whole.
The title track features Chap Rowland and is an overall encouragement to stress less and rather look within, backed by gentle rap verses dropped Rowland part way through. ‘Long Mile’ incorporates a more defined beat for the first time throughout the album, peppered in distinctive drum-work, low tone guitar and occasional cello strains.
A looped cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ provides a percussive and earthy take on the original, backed by growling vocals, while ‘Lonely Hill Spirit’ closes the project off on a synth-heavy tone thanks to Dopplershift’s remix skills. Contributing an electro element to the otherwise somewhat singular-energy album it kicks Cavan’s sound up a couple of welcome notches, while still maintaining the off-kilter ambient niche he has carved for himself.
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Listen to “Introspection” below.