Published Jan 19, 2015Mainstays in Toronto's music scene since their inception in 2011, CAIRO have gone through a few different incarnations over the course of their young career. Whether changing band members or even band names, nearly four years of honing their orchestral alt-pop sound has at last resulted in a debut full-length record. On A History of Reasons, the five-piece have pulled off their ambitious genre-blending with aplomb, skilfully fusing rock, pop and folk across 11 tracks.
The result of this musical mixture makes for an enthralling listen, tastefully shaped by the band's attention to layering and dynamics. Nate Daniels' vocals are at the forefront of each track, proving commanding from the wordless chant that begins the record's title track. Harmonizing at times with his band mates, Daniels shows off his impressive range through soaring choruses, particularly on "With You" and "Render."
Toeing a line between scintillating pop and subdued folk, the precise rhythm section and reverb-laced guitar work are only made richer by the inclusion of Caitlin Grieve's violin. Her playing functions well in instances of layered accompaniment and as a solo instrument, as demonstrated at the emotional pinnacle of "Starry Eyes." This compositional awareness allows the blending of genres across A History of Reasons to come together in a clean, coherent fashion without feeling forced — a strength that bodes well for the band's future.