Following a series of exceptional single releases over the past several months, New York-based indie-pop newcomer Cade Hoppe releases a deluxe version of his debut EP, Tell Me How It's Worth It. Unleashing his warm, baritone vocals and heartfelt lyrics alongside the minimalist synth-pop production that is prevalent throughout the EP's residents, Cade has definitely crushed it on this impressive debut release. This is one of those rare EP releases where each song is single-worthy in its own right, with solid songwriting and production.
Working with Brooklyn-based producer Harper James (of Eighty Ninety) who has played an integral role to refine his sound, Cade has put together a selection of five core tracks that hit the sweet spot between hazy indie rock and catchy pop. Cade delivers meaningful vignettes of love, loss, transition, and desire with lyrics that wade through a gamut of emotions and experiences. He explores the pain of wanting someone or something you can't have ("Loverly High"), taking blind leaps of faith ("On My Way Down"), unrequited love ("Click Boom Run"), not knowing how to say goodbye ("Borrowed Time"), and learning to accept love from those who love you just as you are ("Afterparty").
"At its core, Tell Me How It’s Worth It is about leaving behind what's no longer good for you in order to find what is," Cade explains of the EP’s concept. "Each of the five songs play a different role in that process, and an important thing to note is that the story isn't exactly linear, because in my experience, the process of leaving someone or something for the greener grass is always messy." Cade provides insight into the creative process, explaining "Each song came together a little bit differently - there are songs that were written right in the heat of a feeling, while there are others that are written with a little more perspective after the fact. Ultimately, this group of songs made the most sense because they perfectly describe a heavy period of transition in my life."
The deluxe version of the EP tacks on three bonus tracks: a piano version of "Loverly High," original voice memo of "Borrowed Time," and a duet version of "Afterparty," a song co-written with and featuring Cade's girlfriend and fellow New York indie pop artist, Maddie Regent. "It's about finding someone that accepts you at your lowest points and learning to accept that love," Cade reveals.
"When I decided that I wanted to do a deluxe edition of the EP, it really became about giving listeners a look into how these songs started because one of the most important parts to me about my music is the songwriting aspect of it," Cade explains. "'Afterparty' was written with and about my girlfriend, Maddie Regent, so it made sense to me to do a version where she sang with me. The piano version of 'Loverly High' is truer to the way the song was written and how I perform it live - and I like it even better than the original record in many ways. And the ‘Borrowed Time’ original voice memo shows how all of my songs start before I decide that I like it enough to record it; this voice memo even has a different bridge than the one on the record. Each of these bonus tracks give a new dimension to the songs and hopefully a new reason for people to love them."
One of the most upbeat and ultra-catchy tracks on the EP - and my favorite - is "On My Way Down." The infectious chorus and subtle electronic vocal treatments make this an earworm that you're bound to find yourself humming along to ("I'm on my, I'm on my ... I'm on my way down"). This standout track is loaded with euphoric hooks and energized bursts of percussion.
Cade comments on the lyrical content of "On My Way Down," noting that "...at its very core, it's a story of falling in love. Love is the greatest and most terrifying emotion in the world and there is no easing into it. It's a free fall that you never get to choose; one second you've got your feet safely on the ground and the next you’re hurtling through the air bracing for impact. The scariest part of it all is that someone has to fall first and you pray it isn't you, but sometimes it is. This song is about being the first one to fall and the bittersweet-ness of that journey down."
Speaking to the musical elements of "On My Way Down," Cade remarks, "It's a very upbeat song built on controlled chaos and a relentless backbeat. What begins with a distorted piano loop builds and evolves into a symphony of guitars, keyboards, and vocal stacks. With Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers and Taylor Swift work as core references, Harper and I set out to create an organic, yet polished indie pop/rock song which I feel we achieved."
Cade may be a newcomer on the scene but with the release of Tell Me How It’s Worth It and its deluxe edition, the 21 year-old singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist shows promise of becoming an indie-pop mainstay.
With that, we leave you with the accompanying music for for Cade's latest single release, "Borrowed Time," directed by Cade, produced and edited by Maddie Regent, with photography direction by Ryan Christopher Lee.