The Cavemen returns with a great sophomore ‘Highlife and Love’
Despite all the disruptions and turmoil of 2020, brother duo, The Cavemen, stepped into their own as connoisseurs of the neo-highlife sound with their exciting debut album, ‘ROOTS’ and now returns with ‘Highlife and Love’
After an enthralling 18-month spell that had seen them contribute to Lady Donli’s ‘Enjoy Your Life’ and tease listeners with a healthy supply of singles, ‘ROOTS’ was the diamond in their crown, establishing bassist Kingsley Okorie and drummer Benjamin James as one of the most important voices working in the modern Nigerian music landscape.
There are subtle differences between the Okorie brothers, or the Cavemen, as they are more popularly known.
Benjamin is mostly quiet, allowing Kingsley – the more outspoken one – to answer most of the questions while he occasionally chips in with a witty reply or two.
However, Benjamin does more of his talking through his unique fashion statements, like showing up in a bonnet and silk pyjamas, a combination that oddly suits his bulky frame.
Kingsley has the more conservative wardrobe, opting for a regular shirt and his trademark woollen cap.
When it comes to making music, though, these dissimilarities disappear, and all you notice about The Cavemen is that they are utterly besotted with their music.
It’s not in a proud or self-absorbed way – on the contrary, they approach their sound with reverence and gratitude, almost like they cannot believe they have been granted this privilege to make music.
We are at a semi-private listening show for their sophomore album, and the atmosphere is intense. Before playing each track, they give a little background story: when it was recorded; who or what inspired it.
When the music starts, we all fall silent, ears straining to catch every beat of the drum, every tug of a guitar string.
Their chants and lyrics fill every corner of the room, and without turning my neck to catch the reactions of everyone around me, I know that we all feel the same thing.
After every song, the audience breaks into the only way they know how to appreciate magic: rapturous applause.
The announcement of the project comes after the release of singles like “Selense” and “Udo,” open-ended compositions that feature more of The Cavemen’s signature sprightly vocals and foggy instrumental drenched in highlife’s iconic heaves.
There are also 18 tracks to take in with contributions from Made Kuti, Cobhams Asuquo, PC Lapez, Ugo, and Etuk Ubong. As the title reveals, the album is steeped in themes of love with songs title “Love&Trials” and “Teach Me How To Love” following that thematic direction.
Based on the premise of singles like “Selense” and “Udo,” the album is set to incorporate more playful elements into its core while retaining the definitive style of the brothers. Here’s to more music from the cave.
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Mp3bullet gives the EP 80% (Good) general rating