“Cactus Parachute display their talent through an experimental project exploring a variety of emotions.”
On March 28th Cactus Parachute’s debut album Safety Coffin will be released, taking you on a journey of guitar-based melodies with addictive choruses. The album begins with a mellow intro, giving you a taste of what you are about to hear in upcoming songs. ‘Intro’ softly fades into ‘Oceanside’, a stripped back piece that puts the spotlight on the vocals up until the end of the song where we hear an instrumental masterpiece.
A melody later and these calming sounds continue with ‘Fix It’, but a little more upbeat this time -particularly on the chorus. Then the title track ‘Safety Coffin’ has arrived, where the group fantastically mix vocals full of emotion and thrilling electric guitar sounds to build suspense until the chorus. When talking about the atmosphere and feeling of the album, Tom Ellis, the lead vocalist of Cactus Parachute, said, “I kept gravitating towards songs which live on the borders between things. Happy and sad. Lively and calm. Confident and insecure. Avoidant and facing up. Serious and joking.”
Fast forward a few tracks and we have ‘Jonathon Ross’, which in my opinion is a genius title for a song. And whether you agree with me or not, you can not deny the beauty of the song itself. We see another perfect blend of vocals and instruments, but this time it feels as if they are conducting each other, especially towards the end when the words he needs to get it right are repeated. Furthermore, Ellis noted ‘Jonathon Ross’ as the song where teamwork was most prevalent, saying “The album was mainly a collaboration between me, Zack Levine (drummer – Pinegrove) and Laurence Ungless. We aren’t ‘a band’ but more a collective of musicians who worked on the project. I wrote the songs and sent them to Laurence who played bass, then Zack put drums on and we would go around a couple of times until we were all happy. I think you can hear that particularly on Jonathon Ross, where it sounds like we worked as a band but we in fact built up those tracks piece buy piece from our living rooms at home….in Zack’s case – 5,000km away!”
Before the album comes to a close, we hear the best song lyrically as well as the best song production-wise. The song taking home the lyrical trophy is ‘Scarecrow Arms’, with my favourite line being Hanging over the cello like the long arms of a ghost. Some of these lyrics are also a lot more than just a poetic arrangement of words, considering Ellis labeled Safety Coffin as a favour to his 18-year-old self, saying “The album is meant to be a comfort to that young man, who was deep down always quite terrified of the bar he had set himself for success, because I think my 18 year old self would have been proud of this and relieved to know I built up the courage to make it.” ‘Makeshift Spine’, on the other hand, takes home the production trophy, creating a unique sound in terms of instruments but also vocals too, shifting from mystic whispers to deep notes. And it’s always a great idea to have one of the strongest tracks as the album finale.