As a true bedroom artist, Robbie Skinner is creating music that is raw and unique, inspiring their fandom to explore their identity and celebrate who they are.
Robbie Skinner, better known for their stage name, Cavetown, has been listening to plenty of music since they went on tour. What’s always on repeat?
“At home I literally fall asleep to it. I put it on shuffle, let it play, and then wake up to it. I wake up feeling great. I love it,” Robbie said.
Aside from Adventure Time, the 23-year-old bedroom artist is obsessed with the popular video game Minecraft. When I bring up a tweet about a fan who was playing it during a show, Robbie laughs. He admits that the game has consumed a large majority of his time, but overall, they seem happy there’s another reason for the fandom to bond.
And here’s the thing. When you get the chance to speak to Robbie, it is impossible not to bring up the community he has cultivated.
One of my favorite things about the music scene in New York is the venues. I come from a small city where every touring artist performs on the same stage. That’s not the case here. From the depths of Brooklyn to the chaotic center of Manhattan, there is a wide array of venues to discover.
In fact, each stage in New York has its own special thing.
Mercury Lounge is intimate. Webster Hall is fun. And in my opinion, Terminal 5 is the hardest to sell out. But when Cavetown came to New York, there wasn’t a single space left empty at the venue. With a large main floor and three stories to fill, Cavetown came on stage to what I consider to be a true sold out show.
At MUD, we’ve never witnessed an artist pack a house like Cavetown did.
“New York is one of the first places where most people will play when they start doing shows,” Robbie said. “I remember the first time I played in New York. At the time it felt like a massive deal, and now I’m playing at Terminal 5. I never imagined that I could do that at that time.”
During our call with Robbie, our lead photographer, Cris, remembered seeing the fans on the balcony throw all sorts of gifts and pieces of art, which then the crowd successfully got to the front of the stage. While the energy and harmony are always vibrant during his live shows, Robbie finds pride in the respect that thrives among his fandom.
If you go to one of their concerts, you can expect a group of people who love music, feel unconditional love for Cavetown, and just want to have a good time.
I do give full credit to Robbie for the good vibes at their show. Not only does he care deeply about his fans and their well-being, but he transmits that same care to his entire team. When it comes to being on the road during a pandemic, Robbie ensures that his team is well-rested, healthy, and most importantly, that their mental health is protected.
An experience where Robbie’s poetic lyricism and unique production capture all the attention.
“I was touring pretty much relentlessly for 3 years before COVID hit. It wasn’t until we were all forced to stop for a long time that we kinda realized, Oh, that was a bit much. Let’s not do that again,” Robbie said.
Cavetown was born when Robbie was fourteen years old. He uploaded his first original song titled “Haunted Lullaby” to Youtube. A year later, he would release a self-titled album that gained a massive following online, leading to the birth of Cavetown’s unique fandom.
Despite the growing demand for original releases, Robbie also continued to perform covers of some of their favorite artists, including Ed Sheeran, Elvis, and Twenty One Pilots. If you are as much of a Cavetown historian as I am, you can still find his early covers and releases on Cavetown’s Bandcamp account.
Aside from the massive success, not much has changed about Robbie since those days. For the most part, he still prefers to write music on his own. Songwriting is a personal practice, something he holds so dearly to their heart. They remain true to their bedroom pop roots, writing and creating most of their songs from their actual bedroom. And lastly, he continues to write songs he loves and that he hopes will make a difference.
In the end, Cavetown’s individuality is a result of their unique songwriting process.
“Usually I write on my own because I’m so protective of the songs and the music. It’s very rare that I find someone who is on the same wavelength,” Robbie said. “I love to write with my friends, though.”
Through his music, Robbie has created an exceptional community. He cares deeply about inspiring their fans to grow into who they are, but he also wants them to embrace their emotions with rawness and an open mind. Their music is an invitation to examine life, a glimpse within who you are and who you want to be.
And sometimes, when the vibes are right, Robbie will create a unique type of magic by writing songs with artists like Chloe Moriondo and MyKey.
“I have the most fun writing when I write with my friends. There’s tons of artists that I definitely look up to, but I feel like I’d be too nervous to write anything with them,” Robbie said in between laughs.
Cavetown’s latest collaboration was with Beabadoobee, titled “Fall In Love With A Girl.” The song represents an ode to the coming-of-age journey of a queer person.
“That song was inspired by a situation that my friend went through, and I feel like a lot of queer people go through, where they kind of are in a state of denial about who they really are and what they need,” Robbie explained. “Eventually, you always have to make that final leap and do what your heart is really telling you to do.”
This project builds on everything Robbie advocates for. It’s romantic and sweet as most of Cavetown’s body of work, but it’s also encouraging and injects the listener with hope.
“This person is scared to take the leap to make themselves happy and tries to make things work in a hetero relationship. When they finally take the step to be in a same-sex relationship, they realize how happy it makes them and that it’s okay to trust yourself,” Robbie said in a press release when the song first came out.
Our call reaches the end when Robbie needs to prepare for his sound check. Without a doubt, he is making the most of the revival of live music, this time with a newfound wisdom on how they want to approach it.
This summer, Cavetown will perform all over the world. From Buenos Aires to Copenhagen, Robbie is embarking on one of their biggest tours yet. With the Adventure Time soundtrack on repeat and now a member of a fandom that is grateful for Robbie's life-changing music, I want to end this story with a recommendation.
If you can see Cavetown live, run, don't walk. Whether it's at a packed New York City venue or across the pond in Europe, witnessing Robbie's talent from up close is special. You'll experience the magic and see firsthand how he creates an atmosphere where their music inspires you to live louder, be happier, and feel the most you that you’ve ever felt.