Review: Cash+David – Side 1 EP

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80%
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Refreshing

Confident and original melodies fuse almost perfectly with Lawrence's graceful vocals and refreshing lyrics.

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Enigmatic duo, Cash+David, have returned with a new EP, titled Side 1, reimagining and fortifying their modern synth-pop sound. The London-based production duo is comprised, and arguably led by, Liz Lawrence, a touring member of Bombay Bicycle Club. Songwriter and composer, Tim Ross, makes up the other half of the duo, creating some superb electronic beats working in perfect harmony with Lawrence’s silky vocals.

Mellow psychedelia flows through EP opener ‘Alright Now’, and sets the tone for the record’s general sound. The duo seems to move away from their first album Triptych, heading more along the psychedelic spectrum with repetitive and powerful hooks.

The track’s upbeat sounds fuse with Lawrence’s soothing vocals as she speaks to an ex-lover saying, “hope you’re alright now, since we parted”. This theme runs through the whole EP. It’s not an innovative one in the music industry, but nevertheless, the duo has created mature lyrics and sounds that give their record more substance as a refreshing take on love and relationships.

The difficulties of love and self-appreciation are relived in next track ‘Adore’. Lawrence releases her worries of not being able to give a lover her full attention or emotions due to not being completely comfortable with herself. She expresses an important point here with regards to sexuality, love and self-appreciation; that it’s hard to love if you can’t quite love yourself just yet. She claims “know I got work left to do on myself, but I want more than just the outer shell of you”.

‘When You’re Lonely’ portrays a modern loneliness as Lawrence yearns for her lover to relieve her of her anxieties of being alone and constantly thinking about them. The track is accompanied by a mystical video set in Death Valley, California, portraying the concept of dualism. The duo have told Noisey that the visuals were inspired by Virginia Woolf who wrote:

“I went on amateurishly to sketch a plan of the soul so that in each of us two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man’s brain the man predominates over the woman, and in the woman’s brain the woman predominates over the man… Coleridge perhaps meant this when he said that a great mind is androgynous.”

EP closer ‘Ain’t Got Time’ brings the duo back to their alternative electronic dance identity. With a heavier bassline, a more complex set of electronic arrangements, and stronger vocals from Lawrence, the significance of the duo’s lyrics are heightened. Lawrence confidently asserts “I aint got time right now, I’m looking out for myself”, as though this track represents her newfound confidence and need to put herself first after her anxious state in ‘Adore’.

With that in mind, the album has a clever structure, taking the listener through Lawrence’s journey as she battles with the consequences of relationships progressing or weakening. It’s potentially each songs’ structure that doesn’t allow the record to reach its full potential. The tracks follow the same formation leading to a certain inevitability.

Assuming that Side 2 will follow, it would be great to see the duo step away from the same song formation they use throughout this record. They’re clearly confident with what they produce but Side 1 leaves me wanting to see even more creativity from Ross and Lawrence. Nevertheless, their latest EP confirms that Cash+David have a confident, original and refreshing electronic sound, all the more heightened by Lawrence’s graceful yet strong vocals, and their modern take on love and sexuality.

Side 1 is out now via Sony Music.

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English and Spanish undergrad, recent year abroader and aspiring vegan, blogging as hennacomoeltatuaje

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