“Star-Studded – Not Far From It”  

Ahead of their co-headlining tour this summer, Cage the Elephant and Beck have released one of the best collaborative efforts of recent years in Night Running. The track, which also acts as the title for the tour cruising through the US from July this year, is the third released from upcoming Cage the Elephant album, Social Cues, behind familiar indie-rock sounding Ready To Let Go and the creepily-enthralling House Of Glass. Since the band released the tracklist for the album, we’ve been holding our breath for what this cross-genre mashup could sound like, and we have not been left disappointed.

 

The result is a chill reggae-imbued-dance track that will spark scenes of midnight drives through a busy cityscape intertwined with summer chilling by the pool. While Night Running sounds much more reminiscent of Beck’s star-studded back-catalogue than the guitar-heavy power of Cage the Elephant’s repertoire, this new sound only serves to demonstrate the versatility of both parties involved. Multi-award winning music-master Beck makes his presence felt throughout the track, instilling Cage the Elephant’s lusciously-deep guitar riffs with a reggae-esque-dub, with lead singer Matt Schulz lending his vocals to the chorus. The lyrics are as beautifully abstract as you could hope for knowing the artists involved, “Killing the moonlight with daylight // Got my x ray eyes and I’m feeling so fine”, and the overall psychedelic vibe makes for an almost transcendent listening experience.

 

Cage the Elephant have been crescendoing towards this album at a steady, unrelenting pace almost since their conception. While their early singles Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked and Shake Me Down, are sometimes thought of as the hits most eponymous with the band, their success has been steadily growing, with 2013’s Melophobia earning a Grammy nomination for “Best Alternative Music Album” and 2015’s Tell Me I’m Pretty winning “Best Rock Album”. Combining this with Beck’s own musical pedigree, holding a whopping 7 Grammys and 3 Brit awards to name but a few, and suddenly you’re all but forced to sit up and take notice.

 

A real masterpiece of a mashup, these two stars of the 21st century Indie / Alternative Rock scene have created an almost genre-defining, head-nodding summer anthem. Coupled with the two earlier releases, Night Running serves as a very exciting taste of what’s to come in the album released this April, and simultaneously may have made the “Night Running Tour” one of the most desirable tickets of the summer.

 

To best sum up this song-of-the-summer contender, I refer simply to the track’s chorus – “Star-studded – not far from it”.

 

 

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Charlie Abbott.

 

 

 

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