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Caged Animals: The Overnight Coroner EP

The Overnight Coroner (and other people who did their jobs)

A New Musical Short Story

I walked in the door and found him sprawled out on the carpet; the cops were the first on the scene and his son (who I’d met the week before) looked up at me wordlessly.  I was holding two D-sized tanks of Oxygen and a delivery slip that was never going to get signed.  This was one of my departing memories from the year I spent working as a courier of Medical Oxygen in Staten Island, NYC.

In September of 2011 I left this job to tour behind the first Caged Animals album Eat Their Own, a record I had made the year before in my Brooklyn apartment.  As I traveled with my band for the first time, memories of the previous year stayed with me.  For the first time, in hotel-rooms, cafes, and tour-vans, I had the chance to reflect on these feelings with a pen in my hand.

The body of work that resulted from these experiences veered in two clear directions:  The character-driven song structures which I’ve collected as The Overnight Coroner and the more spiritually tuned pop of our second-album In The Land Of Giants.

On The Overnight Coroner I decided to chase down a longstanding creative aspiration to combine my writing and songwriting into a single package.  The result is a four-song record accompanied by a long-form short story.  People at work inspired the character’s I’ve examined in the words. Some are based on real people I’ve known while others are imagined.

I was particularly intrigued by the character I’d begun exploring in the title track “The Overnight Coroner Attends A Party”, so I decided to follow him into story-form, the result is “The Overnight Coroner Finds What He’s Looking For,” a tale that follows my 23-year-old-Coroner through a bizarre internet-fueled love affair to a most unexpected conclusion.

There are no acoustic guitars, mandolins, or banjos on this record.  I’ve made the conscious musical decision to veer from the traditional sounds that had accompanied my storytelling songs in the past.  This is country-influenced music for digital ears.  Compositionally I owe an equal debt to the writing of Raymond Carver, John Prine, and John K. Samson as I do the music of Arthur Russell, Burial, Chad VanGaalen or Frank Ocean.

I found an amazing amount of raw human beauty examining the feelings I had during my tenure as an Oxygen man.  I feel The Overnight Coroner is uniquely reflective of that experience and I have the utmost hope there’s something in there for you too…

Written by Vincent Cacchione (Caged Animals)