Cailo brings back the sounds of yesteryear under a crisp contemporary light with this EP release – and takes a massive, majestic leap forwards creatively.
Beginning with the leading single Anymore, there’s an immediately nostalgic dance core to the soundscape – big beats, multiple layers of colour and rising energy. Then you get this surprisingly delicate, intimate vocal line, which lays bare a certain vulnerability and honesty that proves brilliantly refreshing.
Cailo’s sound becomes quickly recognizable, there’s a simplicity fused with unwavering emotion and realness – this is dance-pop that hits hard but utilises an almost minimalist build-up. Then there’s the dance-hall drop, the piano meets the beat, the hook weaves its way into your consciousness. A powerful song, beautifully melancholic yet uplifting in its resolve to letting go.
Can’t Hide follows the opener, and from the offset that leading voice meets impressively soulful new peaks. There’s a hint of jazz here, an experimental, partly organic dance build up, which contrasts with the haunting complexity of the lyrics in a powerful fashion.
A superb song, juxtaposing optimism with a sense of lostness or isolation. The grit and subtle passion or tiredness in that vocal plays a crucial part in changing the mood of the piece. As an instrumental, this feels like a beach-side, sunset moment of euphoric bliss. Fused with the lyrics, it becomes something else entirely – prompting you to fall back into your thoughts. A beautifully unusual yet musically satisfying track. A definite highlight.
Underlining yet another side to the elusive and intriguing Cailo, Traveler’s Hotel takes an acoustic, story-telling route, pairing unplugged guitar with a folk rawness and a series of details and imagery. Then comes the beat, Cailo’s uniquely creative way with sound design, and once again, the experience evolves into something else – it rises up, and confidently takes the listener with it.
At the same time as all of these songs being brilliantly uplifting and creatively interesting, you also get a chance to build a real connection with the artist. Cailo holds nothing back lyrically, these poetic observations unveil the absolute pain and uncertainty of life, yet the music offers something that’s undoubtedly a defiant brightness and strength amidst that. Again, Traveler’s Hotel the song stands out in its own right. Another highlight – fantastic writing and composition, with a decidedly memorable story-line and hook.
As the last track begins to play, it’s fair to point out that Cailo has crafted something incredibly impressive with this EP. Not only is the vocal talent and versatility clear, but the writing reflects the late-night thoughts and concerns of many of us, and the music follows its own notably artistic, unpredictable pathways.
Rise Before The Fall takes one last stab at balancing melancholy with positivity, and Cailo’s voice carries the weight of this fusion with quiet confidence and style. Third-person story-telling aligns with an introspective, deeply human undertone.
The Traveler’s Hotel EP is absolutely worth the time it takes to listen at volume, and is categorically one worth revisiting throughout the coming months.