New Music: Joe Innes & The Cavalcade – ‘Moscow’

Readers may already know that I’m dubious about overtly political albums, especially right now when both Brexit and Trump are becoming naff as subjects for songs, books and stand-up comedy, and accordingly I’m naturally a tad wary about anyone billing their style as ‘post-Brexit Indie’ – we’re still two years away from that. Nevertheless, I’m happy to spread the word about the forthcoming album from Joe Innes and The Cavalcade, entitled ‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ and this, one of two new singles from it, ‘Moscow.’ (The other is ’Little Rabbit’, which we don’t have a link for yet).

I do that partly because Joe is prepared to venture where few songwriters would comfortably go, relating his relationships, experiences and even his mental health to the events of the last year. Moscow is a good example, in which he frames a story of lost love (she’s moving there, we don’t know why) within the parameters of the West’s uneasy relationship with the Russian Federation; one that seems to have deteriorated while I’m writing these few words.

It might not quite be a case of ‘Vladimir, wherefore art thou?’ but it’s a catchy little ditty with a clever verse where Moscow, Heathrow and everything happening in slow-mo are rhymed. Elsewhere, ‘Moscow’; ‘protest turning to ash in his Mouth-o’; and him ‘not knowing why he didn’t tell her to not go’, get the same treatment.  You can’t help but like it, even if it is a bit tongue-in-cheeko.

Joe Innes is a singer and songwriter hailing from London who plays both solo and with his band The Cavalcade, which has been compared to Bright Eyes and The Decemberists. He’s a winner; early releases were financed by Joe selling his comic book collection.

He’s been described as “a master of words” and labeled as having “addictive wit.” The lyrics of this song do suggest a sort of latter-day Squeeze or even a Carter USM-lite approach.

The Cavalcade is just that – a procession of musicians rather than a fixed band and has included Zach Comtois, Britney Spears’ guitarist. At the moment it runs to nine members.

‘Foreign Domestic Policy’ comes out in May (precise date not yet known). Anyone who can name his album after a subject on University Challenge, or Mastermind, or, I suppose, what could even be a moniker on YouTube, deserves a hearing.

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