Contact Us

Caged Animals release new single “These Dark Times” (listen), playing Union Hall on Saturday

caged-animals

Caged Animals‘ frontman Vincent Cacchione is an extremely empathetic songwriter who can pull a positive message the darkest of material, without seeming Pollyanna-ish. Example: Caged Animals’ new single “These Dark Times” which deals with so much of the insanity of the last year. Specifically it was inspired by Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Saint Paul, MN in 2016 after being pulled over for a broken tail light. His girlfriend and child were in the car. Says Vin:

In the days following Mr. Castile’s death I was moved and inspired by the outpouring of support from the community he had served, so I started writing a song. What I came up with is a meditation on what it means to desire something more for yourself, to push past your prescribed boundaries, and remain hopeful in the face of overwhelming obstacles. I channeled Philando for the lyric “I want to make it out alive from my hometown.”

Vin wrote a lot more about his experiences that finally led to this song’s completion and you can read that below. The song makes its premiere in this post. Listen below.

You can catch Caged Animals live in Brooklyn on Saturday, February 25 at Union Hall with Jounce (tickets).

These Dark Times is a song I wrote after the police murder of Philando Castile.

Philando’s death hit me hard. It drove home, in a very personal way, what it means to live in America with white privilege. Philando was my age when he was shot by a police officer, in front of his partner and child, during what should’ve been a normal traffic stop.

Witnessing the viral Facebook video of his bloody final breaths, I was appalled by the obvious disparity between his reality and mine. Under no circumstance could I picture an outcome like this if I were the one being pulled over. Philando’s crime: an alleged cracked tail-light. Philando’s fate: an unholy death in front of the whole world. To make this even starker, I spent the majority of 2015/2016 driving around NYC with my wife and daughter in a car with a broken tail-light. I was never once pulled over.

In the days following Mr. Castile’s death I was moved and inspired by the outpouring of support from the community he had served, so I started writing a song. What I came up with is a meditation on what it means to desire something more for yourself, to push past your prescribed boundaries, and remain hopeful in the face of overwhelming obstacles. I channeled Philando for the lyric “I want to make it out alive from my hometown.”

In some ways I thought this song didn’t deserve to be heard. Maybe my voice wasn’t the right one to give these emotions expression. I sat on it for a few months and searched my heart. After the result’s of our presidential election I even thought about quitting music all together. “In times as disturbing as these,” I thought, “what good am I offering the world with music?”

Thankfully a turning point came in my way of thinking. Instead of defeatism I became filled with a sense of urgency. This new motivation has given me the inspiration to carry on and a renewed confidence in creating music.

Attending The Women’s March with my wife and two-year old daughter reinforced this new outlook. I began to believe more and more that we must remain engaged with a political struggle while also channeling our hearts and minds toward a cultural one. I got straight to work recording my new song.

Throughout history, artists have been tasked with the responsibility of holding a mirror to society but they have also been given the privilege to shape it. We each need to use this opportunity now, more than ever, to engage emotionally with other people. To change hearts while we change minds. In that spirit, and in my small way, I hope to contribute to this turning of the tides.

Here is a song called These Dark Times. It is delivered with hope that we will transcend this moment and it is dedicated to the memory of Philando Castile, his family members, and the millions of Americans shouting “Not My President!” Thanks to my partner Magali Charron for providing the excellent photograph from the NYC Women’s March that graces the single’s front cover.

Check It Out

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://www.brooklynvegan.com using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for BrooklynVegan quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!