Premiere: Caveman Debuts New Single “River”

Jul 02, 2021

By Caleb Campbell


New York indie band Caveman is back later this month with their long-awaited fourth record, Smash. Named after and inspired by frontman Matthew Iwanusa’s late cousin, the band’s latest record is their first since 2016’s Otero War, though we did hear from the band in 2020 with their EP, New Sides. The record is also the band’s first LP released via Fortune Tellers, the new label from The Walkmen’s Peter Matthew Bauer.

The record sees the NYC mainstays continuing to carry the torch for indie rock, with the band’s lead singles, “Helpless” and “Like Me,” proving the band’s deft songwriting touch hasn’t dulled in the years away. Now they’re back with a new single, “River,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“River” builds upon the band’s melding of heartland rock, indie rock, and hints of explosive psychedelia. Heady layers of guitar and towering percussion recreate the sweeping effect of the titular river, rushing through the song’s vast and spacious soundscapes. It’s a dramatic new effort from the band, showing both their contemplative and anthemic sides as it explores grief, loss, and perseverance.

Iwanusa explains of the track, “River is mostly about how you survive when you have suffered a big loss; how to look at yourself and your actions moving forward. This song is about my cousin Ashley “smash” who we lost about 4 years ago. She was one of my best friends and sidekick in trouble-making all around NYC. She was one of the only people in the world who never judged me. Since she was my youngest cousin I felt like I had to protect her, but in the end, we protected each other. I miss her every day and this song coming out makes me think about the process it’s been to continue life without her and have the good memories continue to help me when I get down.”

Check out “River” below and watch for Smash, coming August 13th via Fortune Tellers.

Read Matthew Iwanusa’s Nocturnal Admittance post for us on his most vivid recurring dream.

And read our 2016 interview with Caveman.

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