Serene-pop team CAIRO make a stop into the Moustache Club in Oshawa Mar 17, opening for The Balconies. Their debut album "A History of Reasons" came out in 2015 and their expansive clean pop sound, along the lines of Half Moon Run with whom they share a producer, Nygel Asselin, has been airing on radio. They describe their dreamy airy vibes as the cadence of everyday life, which in their case "looks like a kaleidoscope of love, hate, joy, anger, bliss, ups, downs and naps," says Dante Berardi Jr. in an email interview with SlowCity. (The other members sharing the kaleidoscopic life are Nate Daniels, Matt Sullivan and Caitlin Grieve).
"Life is messy, you get a bit of everything," Berardi continues. "The bands we love are the ones that reflect that range of emotions in their music. With our album we tried to reflect the whole spectrum of emotions we feel day to day (and throughout the creation process). That's just our brutal honesty showing, brutal honesty to a fault,"
He is honest enough to say the experience of taking such a wide open songs into the tight space of clubs can be frustrating for a band so fastidious with their music.
"We bring a pretty big sound/set up along with us because matching the record is always our goal," he says. "Everything is highly tuned and we are professionals with our gear, but sometimes people get a little miffed by us not just wanting to plug into a crappy house guitar amp from the 50s and 'see how it goes'. We take our sound seriously but not ourselves so we just roll with it. Luckily we have spent a lot of time getting good at being polite, and being quick to set up, sound check and tear down."
Bernardi Jr. says the name CAIRO wasn't as quick to set up. But it was the first one they could agree on. CAIRO reflects their own chaotic mix of personalities, much like the ancient capital. The chaos however coalesces around the music. The song lights the fire in CAIRO. Its the spark.
"The song comes first. Usually from a skeleton of a song or a single part we build up from," he says. "Lately we have been toying with other forms of writing but either way the song is always king. You can put as many cool instruments in a song as you want, but if it's a shitty song to begin with it doesn't matter. We start with making the song great, then add melodic accompaniment in whatever shape or form that takes."
Much of that shape and form comes from Caitlin Grieve's violin. She adds a classical but also a folk element creating layers of tension for the soaring choruses of lead vox Nate Daniels to spring from. Matt Sullivan holds down the beats and Berardi's synth and guitar slides between. Its an unusual set-up but together CAIRO as silky as 600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, you just want dive right in with someone.