Cowboy Psychedelia: Oakland’s Cosmic Country Band Caravan 222 Drops Acid-Tinged New Single ‘Red Velvet’

Until reaching the astral plane, the terrestrial home of Caravan 222 is Oakland, California, where the Cosmic Country band writes their own music and cultivates an ultra-modern spin on a familiar sound. “Red Velvet” is the newest single from the band, and is a flawless launch into their anticipated new album, Patagonia, dropping later this month. 

“Red Velvet” begins explosively, like an apparition of Shakespearean proportions, proclaiming a prophecy over the song’s traveller as well as over the listener. Lyrically, the song follows a stream-of-consciousness style that presents an initial vision of fortune set in an old, historic town that has seen countless dreams both shattered and conquered- 

“Red velvet carpet 

Rolls out before your feet 

As you stroll down ol’ antiquity street…”

Once the vision concludes, the Prophet explains that there are choices and sacrifices to be made in order to manifest the vision; the paths have been made clear, therefore every outcome in life must be owned. 

“…Cuz you’re goin’ to reap the seeds you’ve sewn, and if the crop don’t bear, then your fault, that’s all your own…”

Caravan 222 cleverly exemplifies Cosmic Country in “Red Velvet” by effortlessly intertwining the storytelling of classic country with the elements of classic psychedelic rock. These two genres, both with shockingly similar roots, complement each other beautifully as if the two genres had always been one. 

Arguably, what makes this single an undeniable compositional success is the band’s awareness of 60s country music structure, and their strategic incorporation of the genre’s nuances throughout the song; perfectly displayed by the fiddle’s skillfully performed, strong melodic theme. Caravan 222 also deserves immense praise for creating a trippy song that is palatable for all listeners, making this single an artistic and commercial win.

If Jack White ever made a deal with the ghost of Johnny Cash, “Red Velvet” might just be the song they’d release. Fortunately for Caravan 222, Jack didn’t find a Ouija board in time. Though a complete work alone, this single is an enticing invitation to their looming album Patagonia, a journey that promises to leave the audience changed — whether one is a loyal disciple or a newly enlightened sojourner.

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