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Album Review: Caged Animals – In the Land of Giants

In spite of what the plural moniker might suggest, Caged Animals is in fact just one man: Vincent Cacchione. The singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, New York, mixes the light and refreshing sounds of electronic pop with a heavier rock edge. On his first album, Eat Their Own, Cacchione created a psychedelic, surf pop sound. This time around, he’s dabbling in glitchy pop fused with R&B and rock to create an intimate yet uplifting sound.

The first single to be lifted from In the Land of Giants, ‘Cindy + Me’, conjures images of a burned out beach party. It sees Cacchione playing with calypso-tinged sunshine, albeit the kind that’s passed through 100 kilowatts of synth squawks. ‘Stop Hurting Each Other’, meanwhile, reduces the tempo down dramatically. Here, Cacchione’s preaching the value of self-awareness against a backdrop of gently resonating chords and meandering guitar lines.

The more rockist side of Cacchione’s muse is also well represented on In the Land of Giants. Take ‘The Sound of Thunder’ for instance: driven by the sort of resoundingly bouncy guitar licks that recall Vampire Weekend at their most ecstatic, it resembles 80s new age rock but with a major modern twist. ‘U + Yr Rocketship’ is on a similarly nostalgic bent. Built from mutated organs, synth loops and distant backing vocals, it sadly feels a tad disjointed compared to some of the more cohesive tracks on offer here.

‘Too Much Dark’, the second single taken from the record, treads much the same terrain as ‘Stop Hurting Each Other’, albeit with a more personal touch. Another slower number, it sees Cacchione’s delicate, balanced voice take precedence over his army of electronics for much of the track. It’s a mesmerising vocal take, one that instils a newfound determination in listeners: after all, it’s all about fighting for what you want. It’s something that Cacchione himself achieves across In the Land of Giants: a fresh outlook musically, one that’s thrilling, fantastical and very much his own.

- Jess Edwards

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