by Trinity Escobar
A magical night at the Royale opened with the artists Michelle and Field Medic, the self-proclaimed Brockhampton of Indie and an Emo-Folk Music. This welcomed the headlining act, Cavetown, perfectly. Indie pop artist Robin “Robbie” Skinner is a 20 year old singer-songwriter from England and the very definition of Indie. He is a self-produced, self-made solo artist who crafted a name for himself creating ukulele covers and chill songs with simultaneously hard-hitting lyrics. His popularity skyrocketed through his viral releases, beginning in 2014, on YouTube and Bandcamp. He has been on a steady incline ever since. Normally a solo acoustic artist, Cavetown shook things up this tour by bringing on a backing band to accompany him, and it certainly paid off. Even the ballads had high energy as the bubbly chords and memorable melodies were enhanced by an extra guitar, keyboard, drum pad, and kit.
From the moment I walked into the room, everything felt like more homey. I had been to this venue before, but never felt with such a warm and welcoming aura. The stage was lit primarily by the warm glow of table lamps, a smiling sloth atop a plush green couch near a friendly looking drum kit and, among other things, a video of a small cat on a television screen near the edge of the stage. It was cozy, inviting. It embodied its genre perfectly: Bedroom Pop.
The crowd was young, excited, full of love, yet all fighting their own individual battles. Teens and tweens wore colorful attire and mingled, danced, sung and above all else, smiled more than any other show I’ve attended. Despite the serious and very adult themes in Cavetown’s lyrics, the joy of the crowd was infectious, and it was hard not to be incredibly happy around such a rainbow of acceptance and elation.
However Cavetown switched between a childlike wonder and serious topics of anxiety, depression, unrequited love, self-esteem, bullying, social stereotypes, self-doubt and more, mirroring the audience.
Everything about the show was a feel good romp through the tribulations of growing up. The messages of Cavetown’s songs are about figuring things out as you go and knowing that wherever the journey takes you, you’ll be okay. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it feels like you’ll never get out of bed again, but Robbie looks at these feelings through a kaleidoscope, through a funhouse mirror, turning that sadness into something liveable. It may not be happy, or even okay, but it’s the belief that tomorrow will be better than today.
Cavetown put on a heartfelt and wonderful show. From the bubble machines to Robbie’s soft and shy gentility, everything about the show was utterly and adorably captivating.
Follow Robbie on Instagram HERE