Video: Robbie Cavanagh “Helpless”

Here’s the latest single from award-winning Manchester singer-songwriter Robbie Cavanagh.  ‘Helpless’ is a layered, carefully constructed song, full of sonic textures and instrumental flourishes that reward repeated listening.  It’s also a song full of heart and soul.  Cavanagh’s seemingly effortless and confident vocal performance has a sense of emotional authenticity, buoyed by soaring backing vocals and swelling keys.  There are moments when the instruments fall away befoer the song grows again, building towards an engaging climax.  Cavanagh shares about the song: “When I play this song live, I joke that it’s about helping your ex find a new partner, similarly to how you might help find your replacement if you leave a job role. Really though, I suppose it’s about that feeling of desperation when something ends. ‘Without you I’d be helpless, but I know you’d be helpless too,’ is quite a child-like response to being left. Deflecting I guess. But it’s about the panic that sets in when a situation changes and it’s out of your hands.”  The accompanying video is cleverly shot, following Cavanagh around a party, in which the eagle-eyed amongst our readers will spot Cavanagh’s gifted collaborators, including the outstanding pedal steel player CJ Hillman, twice the recipient of the AMAUK instrumentalist of the year award.

‘Helpless’ is the first single from Cavanagh’s forthcoming album ‘Tough Love’, due for release on 26th May 2023.  His 2017 album ‘To Leave/To Be Left’ was about the feelings of resignation and loss when you’ve been left behind at the end of a relationship.  However, there’s a greater strength to the new material.  The album has taken five years to put together, the new songs crafted with care and attention around the theme of being tough with yourself about the things that matter.  It’s a letter of self-help, in which each song offers a different perspective on his message.

In recent years Cavanagh has played to appreciative audiences at various festivals, including Black Deer, Maverick and AmericanaFest in both the UK and USA.  Recently, he’s announced that he’ll be performing at this year’s Long Road Festival as part of a UK tour (dates below).  In 2021, Cavanagh was the recipient of the AMAUK Whispering Bob Harris Emerging Artist Award and Harris described him as, “One of my absolute favourite UK grassroots artists.”  With his fine songcraft and smooth delivery, it’s easy to see why Cavanagh is held in high regard by the likes of Bob Harris.  Cavanagh himself speaks about producing, “…fine dining music,” by which he means prioritising quality over quantity and striving to put together the best musicians, performing authentic music with real emotion.  In an age when music is streamed fast and forgotten equally quickly, when some place less value on the content and its lasting impact, this is a very refreshing attitude that genuine music lovers everywhere will appreciate.  Enjoy.

2023 Tour Dates:

12.04.23 – The Kings Head, Bildeston
27.04.23 – Sacred Trinity Church, Manchester
17.05.23 – Band On The Wall, Manchester
24.05.23 – Pizza Express Live, London
09.06.23 – Night In The Canyon, Thorington
23.07.23 – Coolham Music Club
25.08.23 – The Long Road Festival, Lutterworth
03.09.23 – British Country Music Festival, Blackpool

About Andrew Frolish 1440 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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