Cavetown takes us for walkies through what might just be his best release yet, the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ EP.
Everyone loves a dog, don’t they, Dear Reader? At least, unless you’re allergic or something. Even Dork – a card carrying pro-cat environment – has to admit that our canine chums truly are ‘Man’s Best Friend’. That’s the title of Cavetown’s brand new EP, out now, so we got Robin to take us through it, in a track by track style-e. Woof woof.
Idea of Her
This is my absolute favourite track from the EP, so of course, it had to go first on the tracklist to make a solid first impression. Over the past couple of years, I’ve written an embarrassing amount of songs about the same person. They always turn out to be the ones I’m most proud of, which probably speaks to the strength of the feelings this person evokes in me.
‘Idea of Her’ tells a classic unrequited love story, but at the same time, I was feeling a little lost about whether I really needed her or if I just needed someone like her. Maybe I could be okay with the conclusion that there are other fish in the sea. The relationship had hit a dead-end before it could even begin, so for a long time, I was in a state of sadness and curiosity about what might’ve transpired had we been able to spend some time together. At least I managed to get a good amount of musical content out of it.
Ur Gonna Wish U Believed Me
I wrote this song during one hell of a breakdown in the middle of quarantine. I have struggled with my mental health since my early teens, and every now and again, the world just… closes in. I used the song to try and express the sides of mental illness I felt too ashamed to recognise when I was in the depths of it. The toxicity, manipulation, selfishness, anger, obsession, self-destruction… I had convinced myself that everyone trying to help was the enemy, and I was in denial about the reality of how bad my head had gotten. I felt so guilty about the idea of recovering and would do whatever I could to keep myself chained down.
I’m still in the process of climbing out of that hole and have started recognising more and more of myself returning. I never thought I’d say it, but I’m really happy to feel like myself again.
The first time I discovered ‘Paul’ by Big Thief, I heard it coming from my housemate’s bedroom, and it immediately gave me deja vu. I’m sure I must’ve heard it somewhere before. It sounded so comfortable and welcoming that I ended up listening on repeat for the next few days, each time feeling as though the lilting melody was filling up little spaces in my brain like a puzzle. I can’t say I really understand or relate to the lyrics, but the story and imagery that they create is still very easily enjoyable. They evoke a nice foggy indie-movie short film vibe; they make me feel like I miss someone I’ve never met.
I Want To Meet Ur Dog
This is – shocker – another track inspired by the same muse as ‘Idea of Her.’ It’s the oldest track on the list, written back in the prehistoric year of 2018. I was deep in this crush at this point and just desperately wanted to share my life with this girl. We had bonded on Twitter over pictures of her very cute dog, who I had become a massive fan of. It’s possible that I may have fallen for her pup before her, actually, which sounds a bit bad, but I think she would understand. You’ll be happy to know that I did get to meet her dog, so I’d consider that a happy ending.
Let Me Feel Low
This song jumps forward to around ‘Ur Gonna Wish U Believed Me’ on the ‘Man’s Best Friend’ timeline, addressing the importance of letting yourself feel what you need to feel in order to move through it. I feel subjected to a lot of toxic positivity, both by the internet and my own internal monologue, so it is really helpful to remind myself that feeling sad, anxious, jealous, angry, or anything else that I will routinely swat away with “it could be worse”, is okay. Feeling low doesn’t make me ungrateful for all the things that “should” be making me happy; in fact, I am incredibly grateful for the range of emotions I get to go through. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have a music career.
Guilt has been an annoyingly persistent demon for me over the past few years. Whether as a symptom of impostor syndrome when I’m out on tour, or just for no reason whatsoever, it seems like my brain always finds something to make me feel guilty about. No matter what I do, I feel guilty.
I often look at dogs and other animals and feel jealous about how they have absolutely no sense of self. How sick would it be to just have no self-awareness?? No one expects anything of you, and it would be impossible to feel guilty about something because you don’t even really understand that you are a being that exists.
‘Sharpener’ is probably the hardest to talk about and elaborate on. It’s an “if you know, you know” kind of song. But regardless, I am very proud of it, and it’s one of my only songs which actually moves me to tears a bit.
I sometimes get myself confused, wondering, “If I don’t feel comfortable talking about this, why would I write a whole song about it and share it with the world?” But it is a really special thing to be able to reach out to people through songs like this, people who are in a dark place and struggling with destructive coping mechanisms, and for the song to say to them, “hey, I get it”. If pushing myself out of my comfort zone can help someone else feel comforted, that’s really cool.