If it makes you happy

Queer Colorado Springs indie-rock act Cabin finds joy in suffering

Since forming in 2022, Front Range indie-rock outfit Cabin has sought to create a safe space for queer people in their hometown of Colorado Springs. Credit: Kate Hertz

The close-knit members of Colorado Springs quartet Cabin saybeing queer in their hometown isn’t always easy. They hope to help change that.

“Because we are a queer band and we bring more of a queer crowd to our shows, it definitely feels a lot safer being at a show than anywhere else in the Springs,” says keyboardist Rowan Wolfe, who is non-binary. “It’s really nice to have that community when we play. It’s definitely the community we want to cultivate, and it’s always the community I want to be in.”  

Joined by bandmates Eden Selvin, Connar Cavanaugh and Bryse Taylor, the emerging indie-rock group has been fostering a sonic safe space for themselves and their LGBTQ peers since officially forming two years ago.

Without that shared sense of community, founding member Selvin says life as a queer person in a conservative town can be isolating. They say exploring those darker corners through music is one way to feel less alone.

“I usually go back to feeling alone a lot or inadequate in some way or another,” the 23-year-old guitarist and vocalist says of the personal poetry woven into Cabin’s songs. “It can be humbling. I want people to have a good time [with] my pain in a way — like, I’m suffering but I want you to be happy.”

Happy accidents

Selvin started Cabin as a solo slowcore project in 2020 before recruiting their former marching band buddy Cavanaugh, bassist Taylor and Wolfe by Fall 2022. The idea of playing music with anyone else hadn’t crossed the soft-spoken creative’s mind.

“I never wanted to be in a band with a bunch of strangers,” Selvin says. “I feel like that’s just a recipe for a bad time. Maybe you’d meet cool people, but I’m not the most social person. I can’t do that.”

Cavanaugh, 20, chuckles at his friend’s self-deprecating line. He became the band’s drummer almost by accident, after agreeing to fill in for some of Selvin’s sets after moving back home from Washington state.

“Knowing Eden, I thought they just meant once or twice for a live thing,” he recalls. “Then they brought it up in passing, like: ‘Oh, yeah, you’re a member of the band now. It kind of just happened.”

Cabin’s latest pair of singles, “Waste” and “Rot,” were released as a pair in November 2023. Courtesy: Kill Your Friends Records

‘A lot more screaming’

Having a full-fledged band has allowed the four friends to expand beyond Selvin’s initial lo-fi sound into more emo-tinged alternative rock. That much is evident on the latest pair of singles “Waste” and “Rot,” which find the band pushing their sound to a more expansive and emotive place. 

Cabin is also working on their debut album, Presented to you by…, set for release Aug. 30 — Selvin and Cavanaugh’s birthday. As Selvin sees it, the new material is “mainly bitter love songs,” though there is some “commentary on how people react to gender, and my relationship with it.” 

Until the band’s first full-length is out in the world, the band is sharpening their sound by playing live — including a May 25 show at Trident Booksellers & Cafe with locals Cig Freud and Gartener.

You can expect “a lot more screaming live,” Cavanaugh says.

“And sweating from the screaming,” Wolfe adds.

If that doesn’t make it clear, Cabin is very much a rock band now — but Selvin still remembers the awkward solo act days, which makes the current configuration that much more satisfying.

“My main goal once I started adding people to the band was to have more energy,” Selvin says. “The stuff we’re recording right now is more energetic, more fun.”

Selvin takes joy in seeing other people lose their inhibitions and connect to the music. Ultimately, Cabin’s sincerity serves as an open invite for everyone to be their most authentic selves without fear of judgment.

“Be who you are. Just have fun. Who cares who’s looking? Just dance and sing. Wear what you want,” Selvin says. “It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re happy.” 

ON THE BILL: Cabin with Gartener and Cig Freud. 6 p.m. Saturday, May 25, Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 940 Pearl St., Boulder. Free


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