The Cradle Radio Wars [NNA-148]

Vinyl, Digital
SKU: NNA-148 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

PRE-ORDER: Ships on release date - September 23, 2022


  1. Lights Off
  2. Tell Me What You Want
  3. Ha Ha Ha!
  4. Black River Side
  5. My Right Side
  6. American Spirit
  7. I Went In and You Came Out
  8. Radio Wars
  9. Let’s Clean Up
  10. City Life
  11. Numb Time
  12. I Love that Music
  13. It’s Not Related
  14. What’s in Between
  15. I Love the World I’m In

Of all the celebrated home recording artists that haunt the pages of Bandcamp and the basements of the DIY touring circuit, few have had an output as eclectic, enigmatic, and consistent as The Cradle’s Paco Cathcart. With content ranging from poetry over sound collage experiments to lush acoustic ballads to beat-driven noise, Cathcart has 40+ releases on Bandcamp, not including the limited edition tour tapes that never made it online. Through this extraordinarily diverse discography and their extensive self-funded touring, they have cultivated a loyal cult following across fans of many genres. Their latest effort, “Radio Wars”, exists at an intersection of many of Cathcart’s musical approaches, while also being perhaps their most accessible LP so far. 

In a departure from The Cradle’s more lo-fi works, “Radio Wars” bounces from track to track with a polished exuberance as Cathcart delivers some of their catchiest music to date. Pumping with auto-tuned nursery rhyme hooks and densely-programmed drum machine beats, the album boasts a sonic palette that owes as much to the production of DJ Rashad and the erratic vocal approach of Playboi Carti as it does to Cathcart’s more familiar Dub and Gamelan influences. It’s a musical world that draws you in quickly and leaves you deeply immersed throughout its 15 tracks.

As with previous releases, Cathcart’s lyrics celebrate and reflect on the profundity of day-to-day city life experiences. The words are delivered through deceptively simple refrains that often mask challenging subject matter. Radio Wars was written and recorded in NYC in the lead up to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time which included the run up to the electoral defeat of a fascist president, historic protests against police abuse across the country, as well as the early months of the pandemic, when NYC was at the center of the outbreak. Social and political dissonance, alluded to in the album’s title, was at a high, and that air of contradiction can be heard throughout, bleeding into moments that feel intimate and reflective. Coupled with bold production choices and feverish energy throughout, “Radio Wars,” is a Cradle album of and for the times.