Chris Cauley has hit on his formula. "I'm a big noise-rock guy -- I love Sonic Youth," says the Patchogue singer-songwriter. "So much of what I do is trying to fuse elements that I love from Sonic Youth with the elements I love from Nirvana. It's kind of a loose combination and I try to keep everything song-based. But I do what I can to pull these things together." That combination works on Cauley's new EP, "Girl," which finds him cranking everything up a bit. The title track has the biggest Sonic Youth influence, with its roaring guitar opening and deadpan vocal delivery. It's catchy, but not forced. On the driving "I Blame You," he mixes together Guided by Voices, Pere Ubu and Peter Gabriel to create a jittery, pretty argument that gets angrier as the song goes on. "Underwater" calls to mind the late-'80s heyday of college rock, where roaring guitars and sleek synthesizers could happily coexist. They go together well in Cauley's music since he plays every note on "Girl," though he did turn to Dan Malloy to mix the EP, giving it a heavier sound than his debut EP, "Stirrings." Cauley says the sound has continued to evolve as he and his band play it each week at Fadeley's Deli Pub in Patchogue, where he has started a residency on Mondays. "It's a cool little pub," Cauley says. "It's unpolished. It's got a bit of a CBGB vibe. Playing every week brings different things out in the music. There's something that happens when you're working for an audience."
"Soul Stirrings From Patchogue"
by Glenn Gamboa
"I know it's not for everyone, but my heart and soul is in all of it," the singer-songwriter from Patchogue says about his new EP, "Stirrings." "Not all of it is pretty and beautiful all the time, but it always has some soul." Though Cauley has been a fixture on the Patchogue music scene for years, including several bands and his stint running the open mic night at the Brickhouse Brewery, "Stirrings" is the first EP he's decided to work to promote beyond his live appearances. "I was just so happy with how it turned out," Cauley says. "Every single note is me. I play all the instruments on the CD, and I recorded it in my home studio. I think it sounds really good for a guy recording in his pajamas.""Stirrings" takes Cauley's love of Sonic Youth and The Cure and indie rock and welds it to some pop-leaning songs. The results range from "Guess It's True," which sounds like mid-'80s Sonic Youth, and "What to Do," which is drenched in Bowie glam, to the potent "About Loving You," which could have come from the latest Interpol album. Like all of Cauley's EPs, "Stirrings" is available for free on his website, chrispcauley.com. However, he has decided he also will let Paradiddle Records release a CD version.To get more people to hear "Stirrings," Cauley, who has played drums with many artists from the Patchogue scene, including Jay Scott and Nina Romano, has assembled a band to play area shows. "I just think I hit the mark this time," he says.
From Long Island Pulse
"Spiritual over Material"
by Drew Moss
While multi-instrumentalist/writer/performer/producer Chris P. Cauley stands firmly in the present, he’s surrounded by the past and reaching for the future. His broad catalog of soaring rock songs and soundscapes is brought to life through a vast collection of vintage guitars, amps and effects, which he marries to cutting edge digital recording and distribution technology.
“It’s the collision of all the toys I’ve been collecting since I was a teenager learning bass riffs in my attic bedroom,” said Cauley, taking a break between recording sessions at his own East Patchogue studio.
But these are merely the tools. It’s his passionate approach that puts Cauley over the top. “A true artistic journey is a spiritual one. For me, this culminates in an overall awareness of beauty that in turn brings about an understanding of how creative elements work together.”
Cauley now arrives at the defining moment in his fifteen year career as a Long Island independent force with a new collection of songs and a new band that will allow him to convey his message of “spiritual over material” in a fresh, inspiring way.
“My greatest strength is that I’m comfortable with my limitations,” he confesses with a grin. “I continue to study different approaches and techniques in my playing, songwriting and producing. I find these ideas creeping into my work. But as they say, often it’s just three chords and the truth. And I can live with that, too.”
Cauley’s music can haunt with a whisper or shake the roof with thunder and fury. “Sonic Youth is the stem-cell of my musical development” he confided. “Thurston Moore once said he never practiced guitar, he just played it. And I can really relate to that. I realize now that just by listening to SY as a teenager, their approach to composition, experimental tunings and so forth just leaked into my consciousness and informed on my style—permanently. I can’t shake it, nor do I want to!”
In early rehearsals, Cauley’s new four-piece is materializing in that New York art rock model, delivering sheets of white noise, climbing chords and sonic bliss. “[The new band] is working well. I am calling it The Chris P. Cauley Collective. The guys have the whole package: Chops, maturity and enthusiasm. The chemistry was immediate, so I have great expectations.”
Cauley’s power rock, his shit kicking punk blues, his soaring psychedelia and his pretty finger picking all do that dance between influence and independence. All of this and more culminated in the release of his new collection of free downloadable songs, The Stirrings, via his website in cooperation with Patchogue-based Evergreen Recordings.
“It’s no news that the standard method of music making, distribution and listening is dead. The digital age has obliterated the old model and I embrace that. My desire is to make music for music’s sake. To build it…and let them come.”
From Long Island Pulse
by Rorie Kelly