Over the last year, rock musician Scott Michael Cavagan has been carefully crafting his long-awaited debut album, ‘21st Century Love’, with a host of special guests.
Cavagan works from the melody up when creating his work as he says it’s the: “most vital thing about music for me”. And it couldn’t be clearer when listening to his music with its catchy melodies empowered by strong rhythms and lyrics. When speaking to Cavagan, he said he’s been into music for as long as he could remember; perhaps it was his early introduction to The Beatles and The Stranglers that developed his acute eye for melody.
The County Durham-based songwriter says he takes inspiration from: “literally anything and everything” but for ‘21st Century Love’, he was moved by the music of Manic Street Preachers in particular. Cavagan says that during the creation of his debut album he was: “listening to ‘Lifeblood’ religiously and [he] really wanted to make something as beautiful and as haunting as that”. He added: “Songs on the album like ‘Love Will Save Us All’, ‘Neon Lights’ and ‘The Future’ were hugely influenced by that album.” In terms of lyricism, however, expect themes of getting older, love, loss and people’s obsessions with fame and fortune.
Scott Michael Cavagan describes the album as: “very self-indulgent”. The creative process involved a lot of rediscovering and embracing the bands and albums that: “inspired [him] to make music in the first place”. Although the musician claims he wanted to: “make something for [himself]”, this is an album that has something that most music fans will enjoy. His debut album was recorded between his own home studio and at Tru Studios with the producer, Richard Trubridge. During the creation of his album, Cavagan was able to work with a range of previously mentioned special guests including James Gregory from The Ordinary Boys, the orchestral composer Fiona Brice and John Waugh, saxophonist for The 1975.
Picking a favourite track off the album is a difficult task for the artist. He says that he’s: “grown so fond of all the tracks and they mean a lot to me in a different way but if I had to pick a song today it would have to be the title track, ‘21st Century Love’, because I got to work with Baz Warne from The Stranglers who is someone who I hugely admire and respect” – Warne plays guitar and sings backing vocals on the titular song.
Prior to working on his debut album, Cavagan released his four-track EP, ‘Neon Lights’, back in 2015. The same tracks from the EP may feature on the album but with the added collaborations with the other artists, the songs are enhanced. For instance, the song ‘Neon Lights’ features John Waugh on the album version; Cavagan claims he: “absolutely transforms the song in the 30 seconds he plays on it”.
Once his album is released, Scott Michael Cavagan plans on spending the rest of the year getting back out on to the live scene with a band to promote the album and supporting touring bands. He adds, however, “I’d actually like to do more gigs with just me and my acoustic guitar; a lot of the songs were written on an acoustic guitar so it would be great to do some stripped-back shows”.
Cavagan is starting a Kickstarter campaign from Tuesday 1st May for 30 days with the aim to complete the album as soon as possible. All pledges made will go towards mixing and mastering the album. You can find out more at scottmichaelcavagan.co.uk where you can also pre-order the album.