Artist of The Issue: Cade Slayden

Liam Queneau, Reporter

Courtesy of Liam Queneau

Cade Slayden has a lot to say. His music is defined by love; singing about love he once had, as well as his love for the outdoors. Both covers for his single, “Carolina,” and his EP, “Angeline,” prominently feature outdoor elements, whether it be trees or sunsets. On the title track for his EP, “Angeline,” Slayden speaks to an unknown love that has left Montana.

Beginning when he was four, Slayden has been playing the guitar for twelve years. Throughout his entire life, music has surrounded him. His mother plays cello, his brother Riley piano and banjo, and his sister, Grace, the fiddle. Slayden started playing classical guitar, and throughout his entire life has been guided by his teacher, Nathan Zalvaney. Only recently has he started playing his now signature style of music, bluegrass.

     The shift from classical to bluegrass came when Slayden heard his siblings playing it as part of the folk band National Park Radio. After watching them perform, Slayden spent his “whole paycheck on a bunch of recording equipment,” and began recording original songs. His purpose behind recording is so that his music is out in the world for everyone to hear. 

     Unsure how far he wants to take his music, Slayden figures that he’ll “release it for everyone to hear.” He also said that he wants to pursue music, and that, “if it blows up,” he’ll go with it, and see where it takes him. Especially now, when one song that catches a few people’s ears can explode, Slayden says that he “won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t blow up.” 


Where Slayden records and mixes his music. Photo courtesy of Cade Slayden.

When asked about his influence for the opening and title song of his new EP, Slayden says that “Angeline” tells the story of a missed love. Slayden says that the song is the first one he wrote, and he came up with the idea for it at a camp that he used to go to. He says that he “came up with the idea while sitting in a field with (his) guitar, and recorded the first lines into (his) voice memos.” “All the songs on the EP are pretty meaningful.”

     Also on Slayden’s EP, the song “Once Again,” features his brother, Riley, on the banjo, plucking along behind Slayden’s chords. Slayden records in his home, using music mixing program Audacity to create his music. “I don’t want to have to pay for expensive music software,” and the sound produced from recording into Audacity is “raw and genuine, it’s not like you’re altering all of your sounds.” 

     Slayden says that he draws influence from The Lumineers, National Park Radio, Mandolin Orange, James McMurtry, and the Avett Brothers. He says that when he writes his music, he’ll “have someone or something in mind to write about, but take inspiration from others’ sounds and styles.” Slayden uses this formula to craft most of his music. “Chords first, lyrics second, everything else after,” he says with a smile.