Robyn Cage Slows the Devil by Distracting Him with Her Hypnotic Songs

Listening to Robyn Cage’s latest album, Slow the Devil, one might feel a sense of darkness and mystery. Engulfed in hypnotic tones and synthetic beats, it’s an album that Cage states is “a journey from darkness into light.”

Her second full-length album is just that, from the dark lyrics of “Fallout” to the soft melody and hopeful lyrics present in songs such as “Dreams for Sale” and “Bit by Bit,” the album truly is a journey into self-discovery and embracing who you are, lows and highs.

The singer-songwriter has received much praise for her music in Utah. Her debut album Born in the Desert was named one of the “35 Top Albums of 2015” by I’m Music Magazine, Music Connection Magazine placed the album in its “25 Best New Music Critiques of 2015” and it won the Utah Music Award for Best Alternative. Now with her second full-length album Slow the Devil closely approaching its one-year anniversary in February, Cage reflects back on her music, inspirations and what it took to craft her album.

Robyn sits down to talk about her latest album, a songwriter’s journey and the message she hopes resonates with fans.

Creating the album was a journey on its own. Having just finished up a tour, Cage decided to find inspiration in a place much loved and all too familiar to her. “I decided to take a song-writing sabbatical. So, I had a ukulele and a battery-powered keyboard and went down to the desert in Southern Utah and just camped out by myself for a week,” she says. “I wanted no distractions. No internet, no phone, no social media, nothing. No technology. And so, that’s how I started writing the songs for the album.”

Originally planning to release the songs she had written in the desert for an EP, she came back home and realized that wouldn’t be the case. “I was going to release the EP and then I ended up deciding that it didn’t feel like a complete work. I felt like there was more that I needed to say that was in the same line as the rest of the songs, so I ended up going back and writing more songs and going back in the studio and then releasing it as a full-length album.”

Although she won’t be camping out in the desert this year, she has other plans on gaining inspiration for future projects. “My parents have a cabin up in the mountains and you have to hike in through miles of snow, so I may actually go there this winter and spend some time writing,” she says. “But I do find that taking a little writing retreat really helps focus my creativity.”

The creativity that sparks raw emotion and a message to most of the artist’s songs, Cage’s creative process is fueled by the message she hopes comes out through her lyrics. Typically, she’s a lyric, first songwriter. “Most of the time, the best songs come if I can hold off on an instrument until all the lyrics are finished. I feel like that way I know I can be very clear about saying what I want to say, without even being influenced by the music.” After the lyrics are done, Cage will take it to the piano and start to build the instrumentation needed to create her songs.

As for what inspires her lyrics? Like most songwriters, Cage takes from a place deep inside her. Not when the emotion is raw, but when it’s had some time to grow into its maturity. “Most of my songs are written from personal experience,” she says. “So, a lot of the times something big will happen in my life or I will be feeling very emotional about something going on in the world. And I don’t write about it right away, I’ll kind of let it sit and marinate for a while and then write the song later on.”

What comes from this process? An album that not only has a deep meaning for Cage, but a message she hopes listeners can take with them and learn from. “I let the songs grow more hopeful and optimistic as they go along,” she says. “The message being, life isn’t meant to be that all the time.” She references “Into the Stars,” a song she says embodies the theme of the album. “It’s a song about depression and anxiety and learning to accept those as a part of life, instead of trying to erase them and eradicate them completely. It’s more about embracing them because you cannot have the highs without the lows. That’s what makes life interesting and beautiful and that’s how we learn and grow, by going through those dark times and coming out the other side stronger and better.”

As for her new music, Cage is currently working on a new project, partnering with musicians and long-time collaborators Callie Crofts and Zac Bryant. “I would not want to work with anyone more than who I am working with right now,” she says. “I’m super grateful.” As for a release date? Cage is currently in the writing process but has a few words on what audiences can look forward to: “You can expect it to be darker, stranger and more daring than anything else I’ve done in the past.”

Since Cage writes from her own experiences, one can’t help but wonder what it is that has inspired her this time, into crafting new music that is more daring than her past album and ultimately more darker.

For more information on Robyn Cage’s music and her tour dates, visit robyncage.com        

As for her new music, Cage is currently working on a new project, partnering with musicians and long-time collaborators Callie Crofts and Zac Bryant. “I would not want to work with anyone more than who I am working with right now,” she says. “I’m super grateful.” As for a release date? Cage is currently in the writing process but has a few words on what audiences can look forward to: “You can expect it to be darker, stranger and more daring than anything else I’ve done in the past.”

Since Cage writes from her own experiences, one can’t help but wonder what it is that has inspired her this time, into crafting new music that is more daring than her past album and ultimately more darker.

For more information on Robyn Cage’s music and her tour dates, visit robyncage.com        

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