Cape Francis Documents the Daily Slog of Waiting on Your Daydreams to Come True on 'Deep Water'
Kevin Elkin Henthorn of Cape Francis is the indie rock everyman, and he made a record with Deep Water that many will feel in their bones.
Sleep Well Records
1 March 2019
The day to day of life is typically a little short of annoying, and many of us are quite short of content with it all. Whether we are feeling our dreams slowly slip away as we type something into a computer, or we once again wish we could knock off work tomorrow to play late into the night tonight, most of us are always wanting something else than what we currently have. Kevin Elkin Henthorn, the mind behind indie rock project Cape Francis, feels the same way. He's been grinding away for years trying to make a living as a musician, but by sheer force of our system, he has to spend his days behind a shirt and tie. Deep Water, the group's sophomore album, is an austere indie rock record that documents that daily slog of waiting on your daydreams to come true. Cape Francis is the indie rock everyman, and he made a record that many will feel in their bones.
The thesis comes right on top. "Button Up" rolls in on a muted chord and introduces the album: "Button up, suit and tie. Go to work every day in disguise." Henthorn sings this in a tone that does not evoke a smirk in the least. The tone is similar throughout, with Henthorn using typical indie rock instrumentation to backdrop middle-class struggles.
"Don't Open" is a slow strum of a song that finds Henthorn slowly crooning about pushing aside all those dissenting voices lodged in your memories. "Rise up and go," he sings softly. "Nobody" is a jaunt about getting away from people. Lyrically, it continues in much the same vein: life is yearning and anxiety all twisted into a knot. Musically, Cape Francis is indie rock right down the middle. It's got the austerity of a Bon Iver record with the tonality of late phase Death Cab For Cutie.
When he was a kid, Henthorn was bullied over his physical appearance. His dad played him Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac around this time. He discovered something we all learn at some point in our life: music is a way to work through emotions, to massage them, to pull them out and examine them. So, the consistent theme in Deep Water is that life sucks, and I want something more. It certainly seems dour, but the brightness is all mixed up in there because Henthorn has now contributed to the dialogue.
With a song like "Button Up", he is helping a 30-something through their draining day. With a song like "Midnight Owl", he is putting a smirk on an accountant's face because she has an after-work hobby her co-workers don't know about. He's creating tunes that people throughout the world will listen to in order to work out their feelings. So, Cape Francis isn't a project about being a daydreamer. Cape Francis is the dream realized out loud.