Cautious Clay’s Rhapsodic “Roots” Takes Us Back to the Basics


Photo: Leeor Wild

Getting back to the core necessities we need to survive and thrive is something we're all focused on these days. But this back-to-basics approach doesn't only apply to our habits (or to the brilliant 2006 Christina Aguilera album). It also applies to music creation. And Cautious Clay is a perfect example of that. 

The 27-year-old, Brooklyn based artist, writer, and producer, born Josh Karpeh, has seemingly mastered the art of musical minimalism done right. Through the rhapsodic single "Roots," Karpeh sticks to his roots, showing us that's all he needs to create greatness. 

"Roots" kicks off with the infectious strike of a kick drum, clap-like hi-hats, and a metallic snare. The clean guitar progression and bluesy bass accents keep you fully captivated until the chorus creeps in with Karpeh's flawless falsetto and chiming percussion. The song stays in a halftime groove, making for a smooth soundtrack to Karpeh singing about the "rinse repeat" cycle of "life and love," as violins escort the song off the sonic stage. 

Clay has also been very giving with his creative charisma, lending it to artists like John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and John Legend. As he told Euphoria Magazine, "I always been particular about my music, wordplay, and production elements…I love things that have a "groove" or a strong and interesting rhythmic pocket to them which I feel like is something that can be present in a lot of different genres," which remains evident not only in his music, but also his artist name.

If "Roots" has you hooked, fear not! Following recent singles "Agreeable" and "Dying in Subtlety," "Roots" is the latest taste of Cautious Clay's forthcoming album set to arrive later this year.

Listen to "Roots" below: