The newest song from Sarah Mount—aka Cavale—is a sonically addictive call to “tell [our] insecurities to shut the fuck up”
I’m not pleased with Sarah Mount.
Sure, she’s a talented singer and songwriter, a skilled conversationalist, creates compelling Instagram content and has superb taste in both bars and pizza joints. The name of her indie-pop project (Cavale) is a Patti Smith reference, which I love. She’s even a Libra, for Christ’s sake. But nope, sorry. I’m not having it.
You see, Sarah recently wrote a song that I completely fell in love with, that truly resonated with me. My problem is that she didn’t write it years ago—because I really, really could’ve used it then.
“Head Down, Chin Up”—the latest, and my favorite, from Cavale—has the artist alternating between laying bare her fears and vulnerabilities via verse, and, through the chorus, transforming what could’ve easily been cliché into what instead serves a powerful mantra—an impassioned plea to herself (and to us) to do what can sometimes feel impossible and, in her words, “just keep moving forward and keep your chin up.”
So while it would’ve been great to have this song in my audio arsenal a decade ago… perhaps back in 2017… or, say, last summer (HYPOTHETICALLY), I’m thrilled it’s here now. And I’m really, really proud to premiere it here.
Of course, what’s far more important (and interesting) than my feelings surrounding the song is the artist’s perspective, and in an email leading up to this premiere, Sarah shared the origins of, and the meaning behind, “Head Down Chin Up”:
“I broke my hip in the spring of 2019 and was out of work [and] on crutches for 7 weeks. At the same time, I was in the beginning stage of a new relationship and lived in a four floor walk up, so I was basically housebound with my thoughts and anxieties. The song was born one night when I was tired of kicking myself and knew I needed to tell my insecurities to shut the fuck up. And I think we all need to do that…
I brought the song to my friends Christina Skramstad and Ben Walding and they helped clean it up and boss it up and I’m so proud of where it landed. I feel like the prosody of the production really hits home with the message of the song. Proud to get it out into the world.”
And we’re lucky to have it.
I’ve been listening to this on loop since it landed in my inbox a couple weeks ago, and now I’m stoked to offer you the opportunity to do the same. While there have been plenty of occasions (surely, for most of us) when this song would’ve hit that emotional sweet spot, I’m just glad it’s out now—
I don’t know about you, but at the not-so-tender age of 31, I’ve still got plenty of insecurities that need to be told to shut the fuck up.
“Head Down Chin Up” will be available everywhere Friday.
Photo: From our interview in Crown Heights (the results of which, I swear, are coming soon)