Imagine if The National made a Taylor Swift record endorsed by Chris Martin, Jack Antonoff, and Ben Folds—now you essentially have a Cade Hoppe record. No matter whose music inspires comparison, Cade sets himself apart from others in the pop landscape with his warm, baritone vocals complemented by earnest lyricism and sticky pop melodies.
In 2020, Cade—with the help of his stepbrother, Nick Adams—spent two summer months in his hometown of El Dorado Hills, California, recording a collection of songs released in October under the title, “Poor Man’s Love”. This 13-song album had a couple of popular tracks that earned him a modest but loyal following. Within the first month of release, “Best Friend” (the third single) had nearly 20,000 Spotify streams due to a strong push by Spotify’s algorithmic “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar” playlists. This piano alt-rock album has since been considered by Cade to be a preface to the first chapter of his music career, kicking off with his indie-pop debut, “Loverly High”, in May of 2021.
Getting to know Cade
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?
Cade Hoppe: After Before
If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be and your superhero name?
Definitely shapeshifting. I feel like as a superhero, deception would be so valuable. Perry the Platypus disguising himself as a regular platypus, for example, was key in his success. My name would be Anyman.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I can do an impeccable impression of Mickey Mouse but I can only say his name.
Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life?
By the time I’ve lived a life worth making a movie about, I think they’d just let me play me. Leo would be good too.
What movie ending really frustrated you? And how would you change it?
Interstellar. I just hated it because it ended at all. I know it was 3 hours but I could have watched it for 5-6 hours at least.
Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I want to do that!”?
I have definitely always been interested in music—I played and listened to music from a really young age. But as far as writing my own stuff goes, there was a clear turning point for me at 14 when my dad took me to see an artist named Ben Folds, live with the San Francisco Symphony. He was pretty much the only artist I listened to at that point in my life and that was my first-ever concert. I wrote my first song a few weeks after that and just never really stopped. Most of my really early stuff was just me imitating Ben Folds, but that’s how it’s supposed to go, I think. You’re supposed to imitate those that inspire you until you find your own sound.
What lead you to become a music artist and what advice can you give to others aspiring to make a hit?
The short version of this story is just that there is tremendous value in doing what you love, and I didn’t always know that. For me, doing anything besides music would be denying who I am in my bones. As an artist and in life, you’ll always have the best results when you look inward and stay true to yourself.
What sets your music apart? What is unique, or at least uncommon?
I think that stylistically there are a lot of small things that make me my own artist, but I’d have to say that the most tangible thing about me and my music is my baritone vocal. I don’t always use it so explicitly (in the lead vocal), but it’s been a part of all the newer records I’ve done in at least some way. Once my voice changed at 14 or 15, I was always told that I could never be a singer because male pop singers have a higher range than me. I believed that for a while, but ultimately nothing was going to stop me from chasing this dream. Now I consider my lower range as one of my biggest assets, because men in pop really just don’t sound like I do and that automatically makes my sound more unique.
Who are your main musical influences?
The list of main musical influences for me has evolved and grown over the years, but I think a pretty good short list would be something like Taylor Swift, Ben Folds, Jack Antonoff, Coldplay, The Killers, and Mumford & Sons.
If we were to look at the artists you are listening to, who would be on your playlist?
Oh man, there are so many good ones I have in my rotation right now. Taylor Swift is always in there for sure, and then currently I would have to say it’s been a lot of Bon Iver, Lorde, Bleachers, Phoebe Bridgers, and The Killers. Ask me in a week and the list may be different.
Have you got a ritual of sorts when writing and thinking about your music?
This is kind of random and weird, but I’ve never written a song without wearing glasses—to the point where I’m pretty superstitious about it. Because of this, I always wear my glasses on days when I’m in the studio too.
What can we expect from you within the next 6 months? Any releases planned? Future gigs?
I’m working very hard to give you as much as I possibly can over the next 6 months. All I’ll say is that by the end of this year, there will be significantly more Cade Hoppe content out than there is today. And yes, the plan is to play some more gigs in NYC this summer and fall.
Cade’s latest single “On My Way Down” is the up-beat indie pop follow-up single to “Loverly High”—the second in a series of ongoing collaborations this NYC-based artist has done with producer Harper James. This record is driven by controlled chaos and a punchy backbeat, interlaced with intimate storytelling describing both the excitement and terror of free-falling in love.
It tells a story of meeting someone and starting to fall for them, but never being sure if they’re falling too. Falling in love is never something one wants to do alone, so Cade sings, “You’re right here with me now/Come on babe are you ready/To jump and follow me down?/I’ll catch you if you just let me/Let me.”