Cave Clove: Katie Colver search for inner light in a time of darkness
Cave Clove, from Oakland, started working on their new album, The Muscle and the Meaning, while they were locked up at COVID. The epidemic was responsible for both the political and emotional upheaval that moulded a great deal of the art that was produced during the last two years, including the songs. Katie Colver, who is also the main vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the band, was the one who detailed the manner in which the record was impacted by the events that were happening around her.
“The prognosis was not looking good. Colver stated, “I had to do something to deal with the issue, other than being terrified and upset,” in order to cope with it. The resources, personalities, and talents we have determine how effectively we are able to cope with adversity. Because I process my experiences via writing, the songs are inherently personal, yet they may be interpreted to allude to any destructive cycle. The same concepts can apply to various circumstances that seem like they’re out of control, but for me, it’s a journey of recovery from addiction and an eating problem.
According to Colver, the title of the album alludes to the conflicting demands of leading an honest life and succumbing to the compulsive behaviours that so frequently tempt us. The term “muscle” refers to the routine of navigating choice points on a daily basis. Every day, we are presented with opportunity to disassociate, flee, and numb ourselves out, or we may choose to be present and connect with the experience that we are having. I am arguing for making those difficult decisions because it is a choice that is difficult to make. Simply putting forth the effort to complete the task at hand on a consistent basis will ultimately result in a deeper connection to its significance. When the epidemic began, it provided me with the opportunity to focus on improving myself. After I became sober, we were able to devote more time to writing, arranging, and planning the record because we weren’t able to collaborate on songs at our usual practise space. In a typical session, I will sing as I perform a new song on my guitar. Then we put our spin on it. Following our lengthy rest, we repeated that activity several times while all of us wore masks. I emailed the rhythm section, which consists of drummer Harrison Murphy, bass player Alisa Saario, and guitarist Brent Curriden. I utilised the voice memos feature on my iPhone. I do not create official demos at this time. Harrison and Alisa were responsible for laying down the rhythm and the vibe, while Brent was responsible for writing his lead lines and the guitar hooks. As soon as everything settled down, we went into the studio, re-masked, and started working on some demos to submit to our producer, Chris Daddio.
The band came into the studio of Daddio (Everyone Is Dirty), where everyone was wearing a mask. Colver admitted that it was a dangerous move. “While Chris was safely ensconced in his control booth, we performed the basic songs live.” I entered the studio by myself to do the vocals and the background harmonies. Harrison contributed some keyboard bits. Chris and I collaborated to make the mixture, and we both masked. We found a sound that allows each instrument to have its own distinct voice.
The tracks on the CD strike a healthy mix between inside reflection and outward exuberance throughout. The subtle singing of Colver and the lyrics, which frequently conceal as much as they communicate, are brought to the forefront by the overlapping guitar effects, silky bass lines, and intricate backbeats in the song.
The R&B introduction to “In Motion Now” features a sound that is reminiscent of soul music from the 1960s. The ringing tones and warm bottom notes of Curriden’s guitar create a sound that is somewhere between Memphis and Detroit. Colver sings about a couple who are in the process of dissolving their relationship yet continue to act as though everything is OK. The song “Obsidian” is the most depressing one on the album. It is a solemn ballad that delves into the hopelessness that comes with addiction. “It was composed during a difficult period. Many of my songs are about finding hope in the thought that there are possibilities for development and healing in everything, even when the world around you seems to be tough and dreadful. This is the case even when the world around you seems to be the most difficult and awful. This song was created during a time when I felt trapped and unsure of whether or not I would ever be able to break out of this terrible cycle.
Without having any particular objective in mind, the band released the record under their own label. “Things have changed for everyone in the band, and while we’re happy with the response, we can’t deny that circumstances have shifted. I’m pregnant and I’m going to graduate school, and Brent recently relocated to Berlin. The timing is not ideal for going on tour right now. Because there was so much happening on that needed to be chronicled, both emotionally and politically, we worked on the songs both before and during COVID.
Soon after, Colver became acquainted with Davyd Nereo, who was also a guitarist and lyricist. It was his band, Winnie Byrd, that she joined. “His encouragement pushed me to pick up songwriting once more. Due to the fact that his band was playing less frequently, I made the decision to try my hand at performing. In the beginning, I was known by Katie Clover, which is a form of my actual name. I went through a number of iterations and staff changes before finally becoming a more collaborative endeavour. The hallucinogenic experience I experienced in Puerto Rico served as inspiration for the song Cave Clove. When I came to, I was on acid and swimming in the water when I found myself inside a cave. The phrase “Cave Clove” started playing in the back of my mind. I was thinking at the time that that may be a cool name for a band, and it turned out to be.”
The album may be located on Cave Clove’s Bandcamp page, which can be accessed at caveclove.bandcamp.com/album/the-muscle-and-the-meaning.