Gig Seeker Pro


Toronto, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Toronto, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Pop




"The 50 Best Canadian Albums of 2015"

An occupational hazard of writing about music is that it’s hard to spend a lot of time with any of it. To be able to marinate in a record seems like a luxury at times. Which makes the albums that break through into your regular rotation just that much more special. Cairo’s A History of Reasons is one of those albums. Released back in January, according to my iTunes not only have I listened to it more than any other record in 2015, it was gathering spins well into November.

The opening chant on the title track sets just the right tone for the debut album from the four-year-old Toronto quintet. Lead singer Nate Daniels and drummer Matt Sullivan lead the way on the propulsive, slightly '90s-esque alt-pop track. Cairo tends to lean heavily on soaring choruses, and that’s all right because this record really is all about the power and dynamics of Daniels’s voice and the emotion it’s able to convey.

A History of Reasons is a sparkling, confident debut. Now all this band needs is a break. — Judith Lynch - CBC

"CAIRO - A History of Reasons (Review)"

Mainstays 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. - Exclaim!

"CAIRO - A History of Reasons"

Some bands emerge so fully formed and polished, it makes you wonder how they got to that place so quickly. Toronto's Cairo are like that. Their full-length debut album sounds like a major-label release, all high production values and commercial-radio finesse despite being funded through PledgeMusic. Their sound is cinematic, moody pop reminiscent of a less playful Gotye. It's earnest. Very earnest.

Frontman Nate Daniels, born in Vancouver, tackles big subjects - see standout track Age/Sex/Race - and sings with sensual seriousness. Violin and synths add lushness and ambient texture. High guitar leads chime. The album's first half benefits from smart songwriting, surprising arrangements and pop hooks. - NOW Magazine

"Album Review: CAIRO - A History of Reasons"

“Time never seems to wait” – they even said it themselves, and its true. Impatience is inevitable. It’s something that, especially with todays’ generations, is becoming more and more common. This may be a big reason why some of the most popular (Beyonce, Drake) and best (Burial, Death Grips) names in music have decided to release albums with no warning at all. Or, perhaps it’s the reverse of such circumstances that have made listeners so impatient for new music, who’s to say. Either way, in the case of Toronto’s CAIRO, who have finally unleashed their first full-length effort A History of Reasons, the wait has been long but the results are easily worth it. A History of Reasons was produced by Nygel Asselin (Mother Mother, Half Moon Run) along with the band, and is their first effort on MapleMusicRecordings. On the surface, A History of Reasons contains a collection of strong melodic drives and catchy choruses, but a deeper dive into the lining of the record reveals a powerful emotional base, one that vocalist Nate Daniels has carefully crafted over 3 years.

While CAIRO are marketed and perform as a 4-piece, it has long been the project of lead man Nate Daniels, who’s personal lyrical mark is not only all over A History of Reasons, but the strongest element. Daniel’s could likely make it on his own as a solo singer songwriter, but when given the tight grooves of Matt Sullivan, and melodic backup of Dante Berardi and Caitlin Grieve the project turns into a force of its own. Moments like “Seventeen” are greatly catalyzed by instrumental additions, but still remain primarily engaging lyrically. Other singles like “With You” quickly show why Daniels is the head of the show – at times his voice booms through the entire mix, while at others it floats atop, gently gracing the instruments beneath it. Throughout the album’s lyrics, Daniels shows an embrace of eternal yearning through stories of separation, struggle, and lonliness, but manages to keep the music uplifting in the end. Daniels is complacent in his struggle for love, which is best displayed in the albums title-track – “A history of reasons won’t make me stop – I’d do it again”.

Cairo A History of ReasonsAs A History of Reasons meanders along, it dips into many stylistic pools, but never quite settles. From the anthemic strikes in “Kingdoms” to the strong rhythmic swells of “Extinguishing Fires” to the bareness of “Nothing,” this is an album that not only takes you on an emotional journey, but an interesting musical one as well. In the time that it took to write, record and release the record, close to 3 years passed which is a large contributing factor to the spread shown on A History of Reasons. Through all of this, though, shines the earnest and completely heartfelt words of Daniels, which acts as the LP’s binding agent, bringing the entire picture into focus.

Having been mainstays in Toronto for years now, A History of Reasons may be the catalyst that finally gets CAIRO on the world map. This album is a series of emotionally driven songs with strong musical compositions, not unlike other Canadian successes like Owen Pallett or Bahamas. What sets CAIRO apart, though, is their ability to take from so many influences and still come out with a consistent product. It’s a powerful album in many ways, and one that easily gets under your skin to leave a mark. They’re not necessarily treading any new ground musically, but rather showing how to properly display a series of moody, artful, and engaging pop compositions. - Bearded Gentleman Music

"Album Review - A History of Reasons"

After years of gigging, and an EP titled The Young Love EP, local Toronto band, Cairo, are officially signed to MapleMusic Recordings and are releasing their first full length album, A History Of Reasons.

Cairo, although falling somewhere on the indie side of the spectrum, are not the typical indie band you’d expect to hear on the radio, and A History Of Reasons is evidence of that. The album is void of any four-on-the-floor dance grooves, hand claps as the back beat, and monotonous, uninteresting instrumental parts; rather, A History Of Reasons offers a much darker tone to its songs, and with it’s well written and recorded music, it gives it’s listeners a flavor reminiscent of City And Color, only more interesting. Violinist, Caitlin Grieve, describes it as, “the album sounds like the most artistic qualities of each band member: soaring vocals, warm strings, melancholic harmonies, and rhythms that mimic the human heart and all of its emotions. Plus, lots of reverb.”

Over the span of its near 45 minute length, Cairo manages to cover an assortment of moods on the record. Their title track, “A History Of Reasons”, starts off the album, with its atmospheric verses, followed by its anthem of a chorus. The song introduces a number of musical idioms the band employs throughout the album: thick, rich harmonies, paired with multiple melodic ideas, moving in different directions, while remaining cohesive. Singer Nate Daniels’ voice is very powerful and with a large range, it takes the forefront of these moving musical pieces. The tone of his voice allows for a picture to be painted in the image of the lyrics, ultimately creating a musical texture so rich it takes the songs to a higher ground. Underneath his vocals lays a sturdy, harmonious, ground consisting of electric and acoustic guitar, drums, violin, and bass. The song, “A History Of Reasons” was released towards the end of 2014, along with a music video, which can be found at the end of this review.

Whether it’s ambient, clean electric guitar lines, or a finger picked acoustic guitar part, the album maintains a sense of calmness, and a very mellow mood. This, however, does not stop the band from introducing different elements to the music, where they create an feeling of chaos, and the guitar gets thicker in tone and gets a little more distorted. This is heard towards the end of “A History Of Reasons”, the chorus of “Kingdoms”, the bridge of “Starry Eyes”, and throughout “Extinguishing Fires”. After these short and well executed moments, the music resolves back to its natural state of a calming tone. There isn’t a bad song on the album. Each of them, although stylistically similar, have a feeling of variety in technique, song writing, and textures. Nate describes the song writing process as, “flaccidity and arousal…The songs tend to start off as a regurgitation of an event or theme pulled from my life or the experience of a friend. I say regurgitation because ‘channeling’ is too eloquent for the sloppy mess that is my song-writing. As we rehearse, the song takes on the life each member gives to it; agreeing on a chorus here, throwing out a verse there, it starts to take shape and become something we can all be happy with.”

Cairo does a phenomenal job with this album. There are very few issues I had for this album, an impressive feat for a debut album. My main complaint, although small in the grand scheme of things, is the drums were much quieter than I would prefer. One thing which I noticed right away was the drumming; it is very well performed, and far more intricate than a modern indie record, but it is greatly welcomed. Nonetheless, Cairo has certainly found their sound, and know how to hone their talent into sculpting their songs. Cairo is an excellent band, both live, and on album, and I would strongly recommend checking out their music along with any upcoming shows.

2015 looks to be a big year for Cairo, as drummer Matt Sullivan puts it, “2015 is all about playing this record as much as possible to as many people as we can. We will also be trying to write new material behind their backs when they aren’t looking.” A History Of Reasons takes the currently popular form of indie rock, with a strong twist, adding a more interesting dimension to the genre. As someone who does not normally listen to much indie music, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this record from front to back, a number of times. I not only enjoyed it, but I was very impressed by all the elements Cairo has assembled in their music: the folk like violin, the smooth electric guitar, Nate’s incredible vocal range, and the grooving drums. It remains simple, radio-friendly, and mellow, while still maintaining a creative and unique musical experience. - The Heavy Press


A History of Reasons 2015

Young Love (EP) 2011



You could call Toronto's CAIRO folk. Or rock. Or ambient. Or experimental. But all of these descriptions ultimately fall short of fully capturing the essence of what the band and co­producer Nygel Asselin (Half Moon Run, Air Marshal Landing) put down on tape. On stage, front man Nate Daniels becomes taller, rising from whispers to long-­winded bursts then back down again, his fingers dancing along the guitar strings. Lead guitarist Dante Berardi Jr. moves in tandem, stealing glances of the science experiment at his feet, a network of twisting cables and blinking lights that coalesce into reverb­ soaked riffs. The sweetness of Caitlin Grieve’s violin weaves its way through the wall of sound, keeping the whole damn thing from just bursting at the seams, while Matt Sullivan’s drumming and Rashad Mohamed's bass rumble in the background, earmarking pages in the ever­ evolving narrative of CAIRO’s stories.

Band Members