After my first listen, I was struck by “Cave Me In”’s satisfying blend of smooth and sweet. It reminds me of a solitary walk home after a late night out with friends and maybe someone who could be something more, gliding along, probably buzzed, piecing together how you actually feel about that one person, daydreaming about what could be but wondering if keeping it all inside would be all for the best.
The producer of this song (lophiile, whom I know nothing about but immediately followed on Soundcloud after listening for the first 75 seconds) is able to create this mood by mixing different mellowed synths with a more organic sounding drum kit. It reminded me of a drum beat thumping lightly in the background at a cafe, but perhaps a little less organic and the rim shots more sharp. This crispness, allied with the variety of synths flittering around in the background like daydreams, gave me the impression of an intimate and cozy stumble home, kept warm by good thoughts despite the chilly weather of a late winter evening.
I also really enjoy the smooth flow of this song, especially the order in which the singers perform (Gallant, Tablo, and then Eric Nam). Gallant is like the beginning of a conversation, seriously thinking about what he wants. His voice remains in a lower register and my much loved falsetto never makes an appearance. By the time he gets to the chorus, his voice softens, but still hits a bit hard, as if he’s coming to the realization, “Yes…Yes I do want you!” Tablo comes through as a serious rethinking. “Wait… Is this what I want? Is it worth it?” A sort of self doubt and reason breaking up the musings of Gallant and and the sweet conclusions of Eric Nam, which ultimately ends up being my favorite part of the song. I love how breathy Nam’s voice is when it gets to the chorus, especially when lophiile brings in the high guitar riffs. Where Gallant’s voice was unstructured musings on what he wanted, not sure yet if it was love, Eric Nam’s voice seems to have the besotted sigh of someone fully committed to their feelings. Confident and softly Eric Nam proclaims, “Baby, I want you”. His voice is so emotive and I love that his higher and softer tone was able to bring this song to its conclusion.
As for the music video…It was definitely aesthetic and I am all for aesthetic. I loved the colors and that it was shot at night with the ground wet from fresh rain. However, I wish it would have done more than just follow the three around aimlessly with a sometimes shot of a girl thrown in. The song embodies this idea of unsteady musings of love and the atmospheric shots of the city seemed to match this perfectly. But the three walking through the scenes and staring at the camera without interacting at all with this environment made it seem like there was a disconnect between the three singers and the intimate atmosphere of the city, creating a sense of isolation that I do not think was present in the song.