The Cavalcade’s Many Moons has been released at a timely moment. 2010 has seen the growth of the Indietracks festival and Sean Price’s Fortuna POP! label, the return of Belle And Sebastian, a cracking album in the shape of Allo, Darlin‘s self titled d�but, a Sarah Records documentary in the works and a full reissue of the Orange Juice back-catalogue, making it a veritable goldmine for fans of all things fey.
Of course, releasing an album in such circumstances only works if the resulting record is any good. In the case of Many Moons, it most certainly is. Lazy parallels with Sarah Records bands such as Blueboy, The Field Mice and The Sea Urchins will inevitably be drawn; a pity, given the melodious and genuinely crafted songs. That said, an otherwise brilliant opening track Meet You In The Rain doesn’t help itself by tackling C86’s favourite topics about meeting a girl in the rain that never showed up.
The album seems to work best when the songs are at their most upbeat and up-tempo (even if their lyrical themes may at times seem downbeat). Aside from the aforementioned brilliant opening track, another highlight is For You with its talk of walking lonely grey streets. But the undoubted highlight of the album is Ghost Of This Time with a jangling guitar line Johnny Marr would be proud of (a tactic employed equally well on Meet You In The Rain) and an overall feel that lies somewhere between The Go Betweens and The Sea Urchins (that inevitable Sarah Records comparison crops up, then…). Though, it must be said it’s closely rivalled by the euphoric pop chorus of the album’s penultimate track Ship Inside A Bottle for immediate impact and catchiness.
The album works even when the tunes aren’t at their most immediate, suggesting that The Cavalcade have a genuine talent for songwriting. Airier, more laid back tracks such as Voices, Wherever You Go and Your Old Room demonstrate that there’s more to The Cavalcade’s arsenal than instantly gratifying indie-pop.
Overall The Cavalcade have produced an album that can proudly stand alongside those from ‘Allo, Darlin’ and Standard Fare as an indie-pop triumph. The album’s blend of effective songwriting, lyrics that people can relate to, and a production that suits the moods and nuances of the songs contained within has meant that Many Moons works on a number of levels. If there is a flaw to the album, it’s that the songs can sometimes appear to blend into one due to the consistency of the production and melodies. But this is but a small flaw on what is an otherwise great album. Those trying to argue that 2010 is the return of fey/indie-pop in general have just received another load of ammunition to back them up.