A new single release from Levi Cadle certainly holds nothing back when it comes to deep grooves, soulful vocals, and throwing in some vintage synths.
"February Flood" sounds like a classic from the late 70's. Hi-hats roll on, the funk rises up and a killer and passionate performance from Cadle all creates a powerhouse of a track.
Percussion is essential and there's even a classic 80's synth and key breakdown right before some tasteful lead guitars coat the song in bendy blues sounds.
This is a near perfect example of an outstanding youth in songwriting utilizing influences from different decades completely and bringing them into an almost indie-pop world and brandishing something familiar but also really new at the same time.
This single isn't a super far cry from his last EP dubbed Fog From Dockery which is loaded with a more southern creole sound that feels like rolling through the swamp all infused with that blues feel.
Levi Cadle has that ability to take genres from all over the place and crush it all perfectly and with so much soul it's hard to even handle.
We had to sit down with the artist to talk about all this.
RAG: Okay Levi, let's start with "February Flood". This track has a ton of soul and a heavy groove. It crosses contemporary pop with R&B and more. Where did this track come from?
Levi: Wow, thanks so much! “February Flood” came about all at once, at a time when the world seemed to be entering into a very dark period. In February, 2020, when we were first hearing whispers of the virus spreading around the world, general panic was high, and it seemed as if everything in the world went gray. I felt as if the sky itself were reflecting the encompassing feeling of apprehension that had a grip on everyone. So essentially, “February Flood” is about that inescapable feeling of dread that so many of us have felt this year. On top of everything else, my hometown was experiencing one of the worst floods we’d had in years. The title came to me as I was driving to work through a torrential downpour one morning, and the song was finished in my head by the time I arrived.
RAG: How do you feel this single differs from some of your previous releases like the "All Laid Out" Album?
Levi: For me, the release of “February Flood” marks the first release where I am truly confident in the work, and what I want to be, musically. Though I am certainly proud of my previous releases for what they are, I can see now that they were really just exhibitions of me figuring myself out. I released 3 albums, within a couple of years that are all vastly different in quality and style, and with each, came their own lessons for me as a musician and a producer. “All Laid Out”, in particular, was one huge experiment. It’s super raw, with a lot of background noise and is just me and a guitar on nearly every track. I didn’t even produce that album, which was a test in and of itself for me to learn to be okay with releasing the reigns, from time to time. That album was also my first experience collaborating with another musician on an album. Lauren Beeler (now LB Beistad) sang with me on several tracks, and is still one of my best friends, today. With every release up until now, there has been the subliminal question to myself: “Is this what I want to do?”. With the general vibe of “February Flood”, I have finally answered that question.
RAG: So much heart on this track and a lot of your others as well. What artists or bands actually influenced you as an artist?
Levi: Thanks a ton for saying so. I really appreciate that! But oh man, early on, it was nothing but the blues. Stevie Ray Vaughan, BB King, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, and way too many others to list, were all huge for me. In recent years, though, artists like John Mayer, James Bay, Leon Bridges, and Gary Clark Jr. have had a massive impact on the sort of music that I want to create, myself. Benny Sings is also a Master of Groove, who we all could only hope to aspire to.
RAG: How did this all start for you?
Levi: I started out as a guitar player, first and foremost, and I truthfully had little to no interest in music whatsoever before I began playing. The interest sparked all at once, one morning when I was 13 years old, getting ready for school. A music station was on the television and I saw Gary Clark Jr. for the first time, at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads festival, playing “Bright Lights”. I’d never heard a guitar roar like that, and I was hooked. Shortly thereafter, I went to see Buddy Guy in concert and it all snowballed from there.
RAG: Did you used to play live shows? Do you think you'll be performing when the time comes?
Levi: I used to play a bit whenever I could. However, with the musical growing pains we were speaking about before, my live performances had varying results. But with the newfound clarity in the release of “February Flood”, and more songs already in the pipeline, I plan to travel quite a bit and play as much as possible when it is finally safe for everyone involved. I have plans, now, to hit several places in Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and anywhere else that will have me! I’m ready to hit the ground, running.
RAG: What's next for you as an artist?
Levi: I’m primarily focusing on releasing as much quality music as I possibly can. I have concrete plans for singles and an album that carry through the next year, and I’m extremely fired up for people to hear them. “February Flood” is just the tip of the iceberg, and I can’t wait to release more material. Like we said before, I also plan on traveling and playing live as much as I can, and I’m also launching a website within the next year.
RAG: What kind of advice would you give to other artists just trying to get heard out there?
Levi: I’d say that I feel their pain in that struggle. It’s difficult to cut through, as there are so many phenomenal acts out there, but perseverance is the key. Through each of my early, experimental releases, I was never entirely aware that I didn’t know what I was doing at all. I was eager to be touring and to be doing really well, then, at that moment! It can take years of consistently working on yourself, musically, to get to something that could stand out. I feel like as far as straightforward advice goes, the main thing is not to take any praise too deeply to heart. I’ve seen and known a lot of talented individuals that could have been really great, if they hadn’t gotten comfortable, and believed that they already knew everything that they needed to know. You could be extremely talented and still not know absolutely everything that could make you even better.
RAG: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
Levi: My mind is always trying to figure out a new angle to a musical plan or idea, but when I’m not physically working on music, be it through contract work or my own, I work periodically at a picture frame shop near where I live. That, and I spend a good deal of time fawning over my cat. That’s a full time job on its own.
RAG: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Levi: My response is likely the same as many others, but it’s earnest. I would just extend a huge thank you. Still being fairly small-time, I’m extremely flattered whenever someone appreciates my music. Most often, I don’t even feel that I deserve that appreciation, but it truly means the world to me when someone enjoys what I do.