Caution announce debut with "Fuck It Up"




Arcola is a small city in the middle of Illinois; it’s known as the birthplace of Raggedy Ann, the site of the world’s only Hippie Memorial, and home to the Lawn Rangers, a cowboy-hat wearing team of synchronized mowers. But to Caution, the two-piece band originally formed in Washington, D.C., Arcola holds a different mythological significance. With its songwriters Nora Button and Cash Langdon now relocated to Minneapolis, MN and Birmingham, AL respectively, Arcola is halfway along the thousand-mile route that separates the band. Arcola, the title of Caution’s debut album, alludes to the isolated, dissociative feelings that accompany distance from people you love. “Me and Nora can’t escape this ‘we’re apart’ thing,” explains Langdon. “It felt perfect to make the title something that is quite literally the distance between us.”

Though both Button and Langdon have played in electropop, punk, jazz, and folk outfits individually, they first collaborated as members of D.C. power pop band Saturday Night. Deeply in awe of each other’s talents, Button and Langdon dreamed of a new project which could more freely explore their varied tastes. In March 2020, Button relocated to Minneapolis to focus on her work as a Montessori educator. Shortly after, Langdon spent four months on a Western Maryland farm before eventually landing back in Birmingham. “I had a lot of time on my hands, and that reignited us doing Caution,” he explains.

In April 2020, the band self-released its first EP, What You Sell, a collection of pre-pandemic recordings with a focus on shoegaze-y Jaguar swirls and iridescent vocals. Invigorated by their collaboration despite its remoteness, the duo traded voice memos back and forth, completing a self-titled EP released by Chicago label Born Yesterday in early 2021. Caution was proof of concept that the duo’s distinctive chemistry could be recreated from far away. Button and Langdon felt additionally buoyed by their label’s supportiveness, and by admiration for its roster, including contemporaries Dummy, Ulna and Moontype—a crucial network in a time when touring and thus community was hampered. Energized by these relationships, Caution set to work on a first full-length.

Tracked separately at its members’ homes—using recording rigs and virtual instruments Langdon describes as “bare bones by necessity”—Arcola is an urgent, eight-song exploration of Caution’s dedication to honest sentiment and artfully warped sounds. Like on their previous releases, booming drum machines and textural reverbs feature prominently in the blend; Langdon reverently cites British ‘80s alt- and art-rock acts like Psychic TV and the Jesus and Mary Chain as influences, both on the sonic direction as well as the accompanying visual elements, which he also creates. But the avant-blues forays of Jon Spencer and Primal Scream, bit-crushed sounds of experimental music, and the melodic power of radio pop also inform Arcola. As lyricists and singers, Button and Langdon take cues from the imperative directness of The Lemonheads and Elliott Smith’s plaintive delivery.

Tracklisting 1. Swerve 2. Fuck It Up 3. Hand That Looks Like Mine 4. Plainspeakers 5. Calendar of Waiting Stress 6. Start 7. Red Rose 8. Volatile