Track By Track: Cave Painting / Votive Life
Cave Painting chat talk us through their debut album, out now via Third Rock Recordings, 'Votive Life'! And you can listen to it below on Deezer...
Leaf is one of the older songs we have, lyrically the song is about the breakdown of a relationship in which a young person has passed in their sleep from sudden death syndrome, the song is based on the feelings of the bereaved. (More information on sudden death syndrome can be found here).
In Gator we sampled an African balafon which was a gift from Sam's Mum, it's featured throughout the track. The track also features a sample of my dog, which was picked up whilst trying to record earlier vocal ideas, lyrically the song is about coming through depression and savouring life for what it is.
Possibly my favourite track on the album, the song felt very natural in it's conception musically and lyrically. ‘So Calm’ is about being completely at ease with someone else but not being happy with the overall situation you're both in and wanting to elope and escape, this theme of escapism runs throughout the album.
If So Calm is the suggestion of escaping then Handle is the act itself and the idea of leaving everything familiar behind, there is also a hidden conversation towards the end of the song.
For the rhythmic string sound in the second verse we used pencils which were hit against cello strings, strangely enough there is also a sample of frogs just before the first chorus. Lyrically the song is about trying to salvage a failed relationship and a desperate attempt at reconciliation with the other person involved.
Here the Balafon features again alongside a sample of the old train carriage Sam used to get back and forth from Barny's studio during recording.
The album was very much tracked live with the vocals added later, but we approached 'Pair Up' differently with the vocals also being recorded live, all being in the room together just lent itself to the track. Lyrically the song is confusing as it's a combination of several things happening at the same time, the words were written after returning home for a funeral and not knowing how to deal with the after-effects of what had happened and seeking comfort in the familiar yet wrong people.
Quite bluntly this song is about death, the process and witnessing the loss of someone close, and the loss of faith and complete despair that accompanies it.
Rio is about unreciprocated love and the belief that in time love will be given in return, if you listen closely in the first acappella chorus you can faintly hear Sam, Rich, John and Harry fluttering the pages of several books.
Me You Soon(Interlude)
'Me You Soon' was originally a short demo Sam had made, I had it on my computer for over a year and probably listened to it everyday. I fell in love with it and was desperate that it made it onto the album, the opening 30 seconds are the original demo which we then all added to. I think it's the most beautiful part of the album.
'Nickel''s always been a bit odd instead of the standard verse chorus, we wrote the song in 3 sections that gradually build, the track also gave us room to explore with string and brass sections which gave us the chance to work with some great session musicians. Lyrically the song is about giving up on love and life and in turn distancing yourself from friends and loved ones.
This is about being lost and losing faith in someone you had put all your belief in, but moving on from this and finding renewed hope. There's a ghostly guitar sound in verse two and the outro which consisted of Sam and our engineer Ian, blowing on a guitars' strings to make them vibrate softly.