(AS001) Caverns: We Lied

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Stream 30-second clips of each song above.
  1. Arctic Phantoms [5.50:01]
  2. Surprise! [4.14:24]
  3. I. Fight. Vampires. [4.14:69]
  4. December 21, 2012 (Frodus Cover) [03.52:35]
Release date: 2010 February 19

Recording: All tracks, Chris Freeland (Beat Babies); "Arctic Phantoms," J. Robbins (Magpie Cage)

Mixing: All tracks, Chris Freeland; "December 21, 2012," Matthew Leffler-Schulman (Mobtown Studios)

Mastering: Matthew Leffler-Schulman

Artwork: Caleb Moore

Caverns is:
Kevin Hilliard (Guitar, Vocoder)
Patrick Taylor (Piano)
Ross Hurt (Drums)

We Lied was not supposed to happen.

Caverns had no intention of putting out new music until we were ready to put out a full length. Life rarely turns out the way you planned though, so circumstances shifted to make releasing our third EP not only a good idea, but also a necessity. Many details conspired to create this situation, but the two most relevant are: (1) the opportunity to put out the inaugural release on Aural Slate Recordings, owned and operated by our friend and a man of unparalleled musical taste, Greg Szeto, and (2) the need to further expand and elaborate on our artistic intentions. The results of this rather spontaneous project please us and we hope will confound any preconceptions people may have about our band.

The opening track, “Arctic Phantoms,” operates as the mission statement for this EP. In fact, we titled the EP We Lied because this song steps outside of the purely instrumental confines our music has remained in up to this point by incorporating a heavily effected vocal melody and atmospheric synths into the mix. Our drummer, Ross Hurt, programmed glitchy electronic drums to add yet another texture previously absent from our compositions. The beginning of this track might even sound like the work of an entirely different band if it weren’t for Patrick Taylor’s lead piano line, which maintains a continuity between “Arctic Phantoms” and our earlier work. As for the lyrics…we’re not at liberty to discuss them, but if anyone figures out what they are, we’ll give you a free t-shirt.

We wrote the first incarnation of “Surprise!” within the first few months of Caverns existence. The loop-based concept was abandoned early on because our sound had generally developed in a more spastic and linear direction. However, since all bets were off in the writing and recording of We Lied, we decided it was a good time to resurrect this track. We wrote this version to be quite different than the original, simplifying the guitar to create a hypnotically repetitive backdrop while the piano was once again composed with an eye toward continuity. Patrick’s haunting piano line brings a bit of unpredictability and chaos to the proceedings, but that’s not the surprise the title references. You’ll have to listen to the song to get that.

While “I. Fight. Vampires.” probably contains the closest thing to a conventional song structure Caverns has ever flirted with, it is also one of the most sonically complex songs we’ve ever written. This song started as an experiment: to compose in an odd time signature without appearing to do so. The sound evolved from a guitar driven melody to a synth based track, featuring a vocoder similar to that in “Arctic Phantoms.” The overall effect is quite creepy, but slightly catchy. In fact, “I. Fight. Vampires.” has our first attempt at a “hook” – but no, we’re still not telling you what the lyrics are.

As part of Aural Slate's mission to re-ingratiate the rock cover to the indie world, Greg asked us to include a cover song on the EP. Though we’ve never actually covered a song in the history of the band, the task came as a pleasant surprise to us as we had previously discussed covering the Frodus instrumental “December 21, 2012.” This track was released as the B-side to their 1997 single “Explosions,” which itself is Devo cover. If there was ever a DC band Caverns would wish to emulate in terms of ethic, attitude and impact, it’s definitely Frodus. The opportunity to cover this song is an honor for us. We kept the cover very faithful to the original, with the guitar a note for note reproduction and Ross’s drum work channeling the spirit of legendary DC drummer Jason Hamacher. Patrick, however, greatly expanded on the piano motif present in the original, creating an entirely new layer of melody not present before. We hope we’ve done this great instrumental justice.

Thanks in advance to anyone who checks out We Lied. We appreciate your support and we hope to see you out at a show sometime soon. – Kevin Hilliard