Cold Cave’s Wes Eisold tells us about the inspirations behind ‘Cherish the Light Years’
On Cold Cave's 2011 album Cherish the Light Years, Wes Eisold channeled a variety of '80s influences -- new wave, goth, heartland rock -- on its nine emotionally charged, danceable and very catchy songs, like "The Great Pan is Dead," "Confetti" and "Villains of the Moon." Ten years on it still sounds great, and you can revisit the album below.
Cherish the Light Years is getting a 10th anniversary reissue with new cover art, an unreleased song ("Believe in My Blood") and color vinyl options, and Cold Cave will play the album live later this year at special L.A. and NYC shows. The reissue is out in September and with the announcement we asked Wes to tell us about some of the influences on the album.
Wes gave us a list of five albums --- three from the '80s and two from the '90s -- that had a major impact on the sound of Cherish the Light Years. Some of them may be obvious (like Sisters of Mercy) but others are less so, and Wes writes a little about each one with some fascinating stories from his life and the band. Check out Wes' list below.
COLD CAVE'S WES EISOLD - FIVE RECORDS THAT INFLUENCED CHERISH THE LIGHT YEARS
Siouxsie and the Banshees - A Kiss in The Dreamhouse
I enjoy the brevity and rawness of this 1982 record. Siouxsie’s voice resonated with me because it conjured both confidence and desperation, strength and vulnerability. I brought in a recorder because of “Green Fingers” and even asked Nick Zinner to play some guitar influenced by this record in the chorus of “Alchemy And You”. Peter Hook is surely the god of chorus-y bass but Steven Severin should not be overlooked. New romanticism anthemic downers. That was a nice idea to run with.
Morrissey - Vauxhall and I
I’ve wondered “Why sing at all?” We cling to the artists whose words have kept us alive and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. The songs were bold and I had to sing in a way to give power to the words. No more ambiguity or disguise. My mouth-hardly-open-timid voice thing was not going to work, I learned to be present. Morrissey is chock full of references which led to other worlds that are gateways if you can see the doors. Like how “Villains” was a take on a Genet poem and “Confetti” plays on Robert Bly.
The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
I loved how on Kiss Me the songs varied so much and that was encouraging. “The Kiss” and “Why Can’t I Be You” are worlds apart and so are “Burning Sage” and “Catacombs.” I consciously wanted to make a record that was referential to the albums of the '80s that I loved and shaped me, sonically, instead of a record that hinted at nostalgia. Kiss Me allowed me to bring in different instruments, namely horns and strings, without compromising the under and overlying darkness that saturates through all that is Cold Cave.
The Sisters Of Mercy - Floodland
I make a lot of sense if you picture me in 9th grade on a bus driving through Poland with the school band, Floodland on headphones. I played trumpet. I didn’t like it but anything to be in music was good enough. With “The Great Pan Is Dead” I was channeling Swans “Love of Life” but I had hoped for the grandiose production that was the triumph of Floodland. There’s an icy melodramatic urgency here that I felt. In 2010 a lot of records that were coming out seemed so sexless.
Suede - Dog Man Star
I found masochism and debauchery romantic because if I hadn’t it would have only been suicidal. Suede was glammy and tough. Sometimes people who become hard were first the people who were too sensitive, and are rusted by the world’s indifference to their sensitivity. On the Cherish tour we were pulled over in Kansas and held by the police execution style on a sidewalk in front of an elementary school that was getting out. I was wearing my Rick Owens high heel platforms and my bandmate was crying, which made me start laughing hysterically. This event kind of sums up that era for me.