Robin Skinner, better known as Cavetown, is a defining artist of our generation. A bedroom pop behemoth who started recording songs in his bedroom at age 14, Cavetown is now an international sensation in a tale as wholesome as it is timeless. Robin and I got a chance to catch up before his winter UK tour, supported by the incredibly talented Oso Oso and Sara Kays.
Cavetown is set to play everywhere from Glasgow to Cambridge and will be making a stop to headline Manchester Academy on 5th December! If you haven’t gotten a ticket yet you can pick one up on Manchester Academy’s official website. You’ll not find a more enjoyable night of acoustically-powered tunes this side of the new year at least.
“Manchester is crazy” is Robin’s most immediate thought when I ask him about our city. Robin echoes a common sentiment amongst artists when he reflects on our great cities’ responsiveness as a musical crowd. “It’s almost as if the crowd manifest having a good time in Manchester” he states.
Not only is Robin “Really stoked!” to come back to Manchester but this time Cavetown will be bringing their new extended touring band, all the way from New York, to kill these shows. Cavetown’s live sets are soon to include new bassist Nick, whom Robin mentions is an “absolute sweetheart.” Nick is also joined by new drummer Willaby whom Robin met through his tour manager, collectively these musicians join Robin and the rest of the band to play Cavetown hits like ‘Devil Town’ and ‘Juliet’ as well as the new EP Man’s Best Friend.
“I can’t wait to show the whole band my favourite spots in the city!”
When I asked Robin about the new EP, I could tell how much he relishes playing new music. “It’s hard to stay emotionally connected to older tunes” he reflects, mentioning ‘Devil Town’ and ‘This Is Home.’ It’s understandable that songs written six or more years ago might not hold that same spark they did when first played, especially when they were released over half of his career ago.
Cavetown has obviously benefited greatly from the release of tracks like these and Robin is quick to mention that they’ll always hold a special place. Robin would love to write more Cavetown records like these and the fan reception they always get does make him feel “super cool.” “It’s hard to predict what will stick” and fans still dedicate tattoos, pieces of art and more to these tracks. If you haven’t delved into Cavetown and his backlog of beautiful tracks you really should!
Robin mentioned most of all he’s looking forward to playing ‘Idea Of Her’ on the new tour, especially in Manchester. Skinner knows that it’ll translate well live and more than any other track recently, it snaps him back to his old self. “Sometimes, you’ll have just played a show and you’ll be in a headspace where it all feels like a dream, that none of this ever happened and then you snap back to the present.” It’s indicative of Cavetown’s humbleness and the relatability that fans relish from him so much.
You can check out the music video for ‘Idea Of Her’ on YouTube:
He continues this honesty when he tells me that he “never really made music for people to rally around” but that he always made music to help himself deal with life. He just feels super lucky that people do feel this way, he’s still not used to people feeling this way about his music but he loves every minute of it.
Veteran fans of Cavetown will get to see Robin’s music in whole new ways during this tour, with the new additions to his live band. Not only will he be solely singing some tracks, but he’ll be playing guitar solos with his bandmates and switching up setlists. The band find that this “takes some of the pressure off” and should allow for more fan interaction which will be wonderful to see.
As we wrap up our interview, I ask Robin if there is anything that he’d like to mention to the Cavetown fans. What followed was one of the most timely, thoughtful and beautiful statements I think I’ll ever take down in my career. “Have fun, take care of each other. I can’t wait to see you. Please wear a mask, I can still see you smiling through your eyes.”