Posts Tagged ‘Underneath The Spell’

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This is the first single off Caged Animals’ upcoming “Underneath The Spell” album. Caged Animals is the recording project of Jersey-born, Brooklyn-based songwriter Vincent Cacchione. Cacchione emerged from his role fronting Soft Black (whose members included DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith) to form Caged Animals alongside his sister Talya, partner Magali Charron, and childhood friend Patrick Curry. Since 2011 they have released three LPs of their soulful and noir-tinged indie-pop.

Trading Soft Black’s live-to-tape psychedelia for a meticulous, bedroom-born style, Caged Animals make soulful, character-driven pop for an increasingly digital time. The live show is a family affair with a band comprised of Vin’s sister Talya, partner Magali Charron, and childhood friend Patrick Curry. On their upcoming fourth record, Underneath The Spell, Caged Animals have crafted their first “band album” during the least band-friendly moment.

Although the recordings began in 2019, the project took a long pause when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and Vin and his family unintentionally relocated to his wife’s Canadian hometown in Sackville, New Brunswick. What began as a pre-COVID family visit turned into a major lifestyle change when the virus and a closed international border conspired to keep Vin’s family within the safer confines of “The Atlantic Bubble.” Having left their Brooklyn apartment with just travel bags, the young family and musical couple had to get creative about life and art.

Through the kindness of Sackville’s creative community the Caged Animals crew landed on solid ground. Underneath The Spell got its finishing touches in late 2020 after Canadian musician Jon Mckiel helped Vin and his family find a place to live and work.

While the project’s sonic palette has expanded, the homemade spirit remains intact. It features the core Caged Animals lineup plus the spacey guitar of Dane Zarra, hypnotic alto-sax of Jeff Tobias (Sunwatchers, Modern Nature), and psychedelic pedal steel of Jon “Catfish” DeLorme (Psychic Ills).

Underneath The Spell’s ten songs feel oddly tuned to the frequency of our shared, strange moment, building a cinematic world out of contemplative moods and isolated characters. From the foxhole spirituality of “The Ghost Of Jesus” to the mournful solitude of “The Coldest Place On Earth,” the album weaves its narrative on a thread of alienation and yearning; each character and melody pushing for renewal. It was born in a moment of slowing down, as Vin became a father and began to look back on the moments that shaped him.

On the title track, Vin’s character laments a life lived “in a circle, underneath the spell,” evoking our current Groundhog Day reality but hinting at the possibility of release each time Dane Zarra kicks at the fuzz pedal. For “My Friend Dave,” Cacchione delivers a drone-kissed elegy mourning the loss of a departed friend: singer-songwriter Dave Deporis. “The Coldest Place On Earth” is a plainspoken remembrance of his father, while “Mirage” delivers a pop duet lit by headlights, as Vin and Magali trade verses about a romance on the brink.

On the serpentine “Dream World,” a lush, somnambulant landscape unravels over looping arpeggios, a sample of Vin’s daughter Alaska, and the album’s most hypnotic groove, pushing towards one of Spell’s most poignant conceits: “we’re living in a dream world but we’re running out of night.”

In addition to Caged Animals, Vin Cacchione is an esteemed collaborator in the contemporary fiction podcasting scene, working with John Cameron Mitchell on his ground breaking Anthem: Homunculus podcast, as well as shows by Julian Koster of Neutral Milk Hotel, and John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. Caged Animals music has been used in popular podcasts like Conversations With People Who Hate Me and Welcome To Night Vale.


Cacchione also produced the critically acclaimed debut album of author, Bob Dylan cohort, and John Cale collaborator, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, a record which gave him the chance to work with Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, and Yasmine Hamdan.

Vincent Cacchione – Voice, Guitar, Keys
Talya Cacchione – Bass
Magali Charron – Keys, Voice
Patrick Curry – Drums and Loops
Dane Zarra – Guitar

Jeff Tobias – Alto Saxophone
Jon “Catfish” DeLorme – Pedal Steel
Alaska Cacchione – Dream Recitation
Bertholet Charron – Lullaby

All songs by Vincent Cacchione, excluding “Au Clair De La Lune

“Like a hip-hop influenced Velvet Underground” – The New Yorker

“If Alan Vega was 40 years younger, he’d be doing this. Or if they remade Blue Velvet, this could work as the soundtrack.” – The Guardian

“Beneath the japing lies a searing emotional truth.” The Sunday Times

“The heart of Vincent Cacchione’s newest project continues to pump blood through the veins of poetic narratives and escapism.” The Line Of Best Fit 

releases June 25th, 2021