Cradle Cat, Song of the Day: “Future Self”

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Local Indianapolis artist Cradle Cat brings together alternative, electronic, and indie pop vibes on the title track from his recent EP, “Future Self”.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been covering a lot of the bands going through the Battle of the Bands semifinals. But every so often, it’s nice to take a step back and look at something completely different. So we’ll be taking today to look at a song from a new artist who recently released his debut EP.

But before we get into our song of the day, “Future Self”, first, here’s a little bit of information on Cradle Cat.

Cradle Cat

Cradle Cat is the solo project of Marcus Wadell, an Indiana University alum and native to Indianapolis. After graduating from IU, Wadell worked at a high-growth software company to pursue his music career, and began splitting his time between Indianapolis and Nashville as a writer and producer.

This last bit comes straight from the horse’s mouth.”Before quitting his job, Marcus released his initial EP, ‘Future Self’ (re-released in November 2019) and further honed his songwriting and production skills by writing commercial jingles for dozens of brands, including Domino’s Pizza. Marcus has the ambitious goal of releasing a new song each month in 2020.”

While so far we haven’t seen Cradle Cat’s first new song of 2020, there are still a few days left in the month for him to put the finishing touches on it. But I will say, that is one ambitious New Year’s Resolution.

Our song of the day, “Future Self” comes from Cradle Cat’s 2017 debut EP of the same name that was re-released last November.

Future Self

While being the title track to the EP, “Future Self” is also the opening track. It’s probably a good thing that it is, too, because it’s easily the EP’s catchiest song. The track opens with low, pulsing synths and flickering, electronic blips that seem to hover in the air above the synth backbone.

Wadell’s vocals merge well with the soundscape he creates in “Future Self”, a song in which he recalls writing a letter to his future self about his nine-year-old expectations, and how those expectations have changed since.

While the verses in “Future Self” are very synth-heavy, the choruses…are as well, save for the light addition of piano keys. But my favorite section of “Future Self” comes right after the chorus, when this synth/modulated vocal part kicks in with a catchy melody. After the final chorus, the song ends on a lighter note as the synths drop out, and Wadell’s final poignant vocals accompanied only by piano.

Overall, “Future Self” is a solid example of good songwriting and execution. The music is catchy, melodic, and rhythmic, and the lyrics are poignant and personal. It’s got all the pieces of a successful pop song. So kudos go to Cradle Cat for the care and attention he brings to his songwriting.

Final Thoughts

While I think “Future Self” is a good song, it did need to grow on me a bit, as there are certain elements of Cradle Cat that I’m less fond of. For the most part, the instrumentation is right up my alley, maybe a little pop heavy for my tastes, but it’s fine. I somewhat enjoy Wadell’s vocals in “Future Self”, but occassionally I’ll get the sense that he’s evoking that 21 Pilots sound that I’m not as much of a fan of. But I can still recognize and respect good craftsmanship when I hear it, and Cradle Cat at least has that in “Future Self”.

I’ll probably end up keeping tabs on Cradle Cat this year though, at least to see what new songs he brings during 2020. If he makes good on his goal of releasing one new song a month, there’s a good chance you’ll be reading another one of these at some point.

If you enjoyed “Future Self”, you can listen to it and the rest of the EP from Cradle Cat on Bandcamp. You can also find Cradle Cat on Facebook, and his website.

Finally, for more coverage on the local Indy music scene, be sure to check out the LemonWire Music Corner, where we’re showcasing local artists from the Indianapolis community.

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