(Alpha Pup Records)
Release date: Apr 6, 2018
Innate is unlike anything out there. Cavalier’s new album on Alpha Pup is a brilliant display of his uncanny gift for fusing self-exploration with audacious experimentation. Despite his SoundCloud tracks consistently collecting hundreds of thousands of plays – and even millions – the mixed-race Long Beach producer is relatively unknown in the media. Creating Innate was a process that spanned more than two years for the 20-year-old artist. The album explores intrinsic human qualities and the inherent process of self-reflection on the search for identity. Cavalier explains: “For me this album is about revisiting your sense of innocence and childlike wonder before it’s mostly gone and trying to look forward in relation to what you learned returning to that headspace. I wanted to capture the feeling of looking around at the world for the first time again. Of course, when you look back at your past those experiences become abstracted, so I tried to represent that sonically as well as visually on the album. It’s kind of analogous to looking at yourself in the mirror and experiencing depersonalization. Self-reflection and looking inward with honesty play big roles in the project’s concepts.” Cavalier’s ultra-precise sound design ignites the imagination. Daring synths spring from a solid base of always-smooth and soulful R&B. Globular basslines bubble under needle-sharp drums. Earnest lyrics and soft piano add humanity to an otherworldly creation of cross-bred genres. Incongruent elements snap together and surprise. “Bacteria” feels alive, an ever-changing creation that bristles with an animalistic brightness. Synapses spark in “Synesthesia” as it drifts into a microdose of vocals, a warped transmission from a different mindstate left behind. Breathe deep the quixotic comforts of “Empathy.” “Mortal (feat. Jeff Bernat)” floats inside a sonic shroud of pure beauty, a silken song with a metallic edge: Cheers to this lifetime of hellos and goodbyes; we laugh and then we cry, we live and then we die. “Trying to come to terms with death has been something I’ve had immense trouble with since I was 3 years old,” reveals Cavalier, “so making a song like ‘Mortal’ feels natural to me and honestly very therapeutic.” Augmenting the album’s charisma is “White Noise 백색소음 (feat. Crush [크러쉬] & EZRA)” – a moonstruck lullaby of interwoven styles and languages (Korean and English) that consistently twists and turns to reveal pleasant sonic revelations. “Subconscious” is playfully unaware of the darkness lurking beneath. Innate throws you off-center and immerses you in a dripping, clicking, churning natural world – abstracted from our own reality. It’s the realm between dreaming and awake, underwater and outer space, far beyond a black hole and yet deep inside your brain. Innate is an adventure that stimulates as it soothes, a dauntless vision that inhabits you – and pushes you into the unknown. Cavalier’s LP Innate will be released via Alpha Pup Records on April 6, 2018.