Pontefract’s Glass Caves have always had an enticing quality about them, the feeling that this is a band to invest time in and take note of – a tale of longevity not flash in the pan. This understanding has never worn away, in fact it has just matured, comparably as have the band’s musical efforts. Working on this new release, the band placed higher intensity on the fundamentals of their sound but rather than just to leave it there, they pushed the boundaries further and broader than before, seizing the chance to explore and transfigure a vision clearer than expectation’s grasp, to produce a work of serious intent and thriving maturity.
Remarkably the EP holds four singles (no filler tracks, just fierce presence) and each of those four provides a fresh light and an interesting angle into the sonic landscape of Glass Caves, and their story. Opening the collection is the song that shares the EP’s title – ‘I Do‘ – symphonic blasts of percussion and impassioned falsetto tells a narrative of partnership and compromise, and how important this is within a healthy relationship. Introducing a mellow-er and more focussed approach to their songcraft, ‘I Do’ settles into a mid-tempo slow dance that revolutionises our appreciation for a slow burn. This decision isn’t a restriction of sound, rather a clever and thoughtful push forward, allowing sensuality and emotion to drive the big moments ahead.
‘Bad Liar,’ the only previously unreleased track on the EP, arrives next. Once again a drum beat takes precedence and ushers in a funky rhythm for bass and synth to elevate, with guitar also pulling punches every now and then. Picking up on the themes of trust and intimacy, ‘Bad Liar’ talks of that person who understands you better than anyone else (even yourself) and how sometimes we need the help and insight of others to liberate our own happiness. It’s the most uplifting and surprising track of the record. ‘Do You Have a Name‘ is the straight front-runner for heady anthemia, allowing a clear path towards its chorus and at many other points offering chances for steely-eyed riffs, or sharp hooks to feature on the highlights reel – a certain staple in Glass Caves’ live artillery.
The journey culminates with ‘Swim,’ the song that started this new chapter – and the cornerstone of where Glass Caves now operate. Rousing are the group vocals, blistering is the drum work, and languid is the message of embracing the beauty of life, friends, family, nature. The ultimate closing note.
On this EP Glass Caves stretch their musical legs and teach a brave lesson, one of self-expansion and risk taking – and it works.
Glass Caves Tour Dates:
10th March – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
16th March – The Brickmakers, Norwich
5th April – Camden Assembly, London
6th April – The Louisiana, Bristol
7th April – Night & Day, Manchester
19th April – Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
20th April – Think Tank, Newcastle