Worm Food by Cavetown: Growing up, maturing, and falling in love

Sorcha McGroarty

After teasing his audience with 3 new songs, Cavetown has finally released his new album, worm food. Cavetown has spent the last 3 years working on other projects such as producing music for other artists, such as Prom Dress by Mxmtoon, and releasing his own androgynous clothing line called Caveco. Cavetowns last major music release was his album Animal Kingdom in 2019. 

Not straying too far from Animal Kingdom, Cavetown has kept the same indie rock, bedroom pop-style fans are so fond of, with many of his new songs sounding like his major hit, Boys will be Bugs. In this album Cavetown speaks from the heart, discussing topics such as self-acceptance, heartbreak, forgiveness, and love. The title song sets the tone of the album with its melancholy tones. It opens with minor chord progressions and includes lots of the background synth we have seen Cavetown fall in love with over the years. Worm food is one of the more sombre tracks on the album. Lines such as “sometimes I wish I didn’t matter to anybody, sometimes I forget I do,” have Cavetown open up to his audience about being uncomfortable with his being a role model. 

Not every song on the album is sombre and moody, however, as there are a few more upbeat outliers in this album, such as ‘frog and fall in love with a girl’ feat. Beebadoobee. Both of these songs take a very different tone to many of the others, opening with major chords on the guitar and having much more positive lyrics. Both are about falling in love, with frog being more centred around hoping the person you love will accept you for who you are. This concept is referenced through lyrics such as, “I only hope you still love me when you find out I’m your frog.” This could be in reference not only to his personality and worldwide fame but also his trans identity.

In 2020 several antisemitic and transphobic tweets Cavetown had posted in 2017 resurfaced and were widely spread online. As the hate grew towards Cavetown he subsequently revealed that he himself is transgender. “I’m transgender, so you may not have known that, but I am.” He also acknowledged that to anyone who had not figured out that he himself is transgender, it looks like he is using a highly offensive slur with the intent to be hurtful. Several lyrics from this new album reference his transness, unsurprising seeing as it is his first major release since the scandal occurred. The 6th song on the album, better heavily references Cavetowns transness with the line “I look better so I guess I’m alright.” One of my personal favourite songs on the album is ‘fall in love with a girl’. This song, as the name suggests, is all about a girl who is dating a guy yet feels trapped in the relationship as she has yet to realise her queer identity. Overall, it is beautifully written, following the girl’s realisation of her sexuality and moving on to fall in love with a girl. While the song is beautiful, it covers a difficult and complex topic. One line in the song references a common occurrence of those who have recently come out falling heavily into unhealthy hook up culture scenarios, “I told my boyfriend I’m leaving; I thought that maybe we could hook up.”  This is all too common occurrence of queer youth feeling the need to validate their sexuality through casual hook ups. Overall, the song is an interesting take that we have not seen much of before. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the album both in regard to its musical value and themes throughout. It handles many mature and complicated topics in a purely tasteful way and has a fantastic mix of upbeat and sombre toned music. While the lack of capitalisation, when it comes to the names of the songs and the album itself, makes it slightly more difficult than necessary to write about, overall, I find a distinct lack of complaints to make. My only grievance is some lines feel slightly juvenile, for example in frog the line, “I’m your frog,” can feel slightly out of place and jarring against the more serious lines and themes. 

In conclusion the album is a fantastic comeback for Cavetown. While it follows the same stylistic vibe as many of Cavetowns other albums, it feels like a natural progression from his earlier works. The lyrics themselves feel more mature, and hence Cavetown as an artist feels more serious without losing the juvenile, fun energy he has always had. 

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