Brooklyn-based quintet Caveman deliver an ambitious, sprawling take on indie pop by drawing influences from experimental rock, post-rock, wistful indie rock, and African music traditions.
Matthew Iwanusa (lead vocals, guitar, drums), Jimmy “Cobra” Carbonetti (guitar), Stefan Marolachakis (drums, vocals), Sam Hopkins (synthesizer, vocals), and Jeff Berrall (bass, vocals) formed the band in January 2010, parlaying its attention-getting live shows into opening slots for bands like Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Cursive, and the War on Drugs, as well as a spot on Stereogum’s 40 Best Bands of 2011 list. Their full-length debut, CoCo Beware, arrived digitally in September 2011, followed two months later in physical form on their own Magic Man!/ORG Music label, balancing varied elements like four-part harmonies, tribal drums, trickling keyboards, and hazy guitars with inspired results. Led by the single "In the City," which featured a video with actress Julia Stiles, a second, self-titled album arrived in 2013 on Fat Possum. The more subdued, reflective melodies of Caveman drew more than a few comparisons to the Shins, primarily for the similarities between the voices of Shins' vocalist James Mercer and Iwanusa. Dates at music festivals such as South by Southwest, Bonnaroo, and CMJ materialized, as did multiple tours throughout the U.S. and Europe, including support spots for Rogue Wave, Ra Ra Riot, and Frightened Rabbit. Marolachakis left the group in the fall of 2015, and with multi-instrumentalist Matthew Prescott Clark on board, Caveman released the bolder, crisper-sounding Otero War in 2016 via Cinematic Music Group (digital) and Relativity Entertainment (physical). ~ Chrysta Cherrie & Marcy Donelson, Rovi