by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
If you’re just tuning into The Cradle’s music, it’s important to know that mastermind Paco Cathcart is an indie polymath, capable of doing just about anything, and doing it all with a rare magical quality that makes you believe. With a sprawling catalog that continues to grow ever more polished and majestic, The Cradle cling to their experimental roots even in the face of accessibility. Last year saw the release of Bag of Holding, the project’s first record on NNA Tapes, a beautiful album that was one of the year’s best as far as we’re concerned. The band’s upcoming album, The Glare of Success is a reimagining of Bag of Holding in a way, reworking ideas and pieces of the once melodic wonder into something mind-bending, warped, and unequivocally new. While their may be familiar aspects, this record its own monster, a disorienting drift into dub rhythms, divergent compositions, manipulated layers, and what the label calls “musical recycling.” Its not all repurposed however, Cathcart has only built the base with Bag of Holding, added new vocals and instrumentation to flesh out vivid ideas.
Straying between levels of varying approachability, The Glare of Success, writhes with intricacies and deep immersive rhythms. There’s the fractured but infectious lead single “New Organ,” a song based around a dizzying kalimba and mbira groove, that uses the dub structure to create something hypnotic but also densely percussive. The album opener, “Victorious Dub,” starts with lulling strings and sharp accented trickles before opening into a reverberating psych landscape, the meditative warble led by Cathcart’s vocals and the stuttered rhythms. “Day’s End Dub” has a folky, poetic touch to the avant-garde skittering and random bursts of harsh orchestration that dips in and out of range. The combination throughout the record of gentle and abrasive is what often makes The Cradle so brilliant. Unpredictable at every turn, Cathcart’s latest has the visionary quality of a painting being torn to a million pieces only to be reassembled into something expansive and unknown.
The Cradle’s The Glare of Success is out April 12th via NNA Tapes.