Cautious Clay is anything but his namesake. The Brooklyn-based soul singer quit his full-time job at 23 years old to pursue his music career. A bold move for someone who calls himself "Cautious". The decision immediately paid off, as the lead single he produced just months after this choice ("Cold War") garnered attention like a female entering a computer science classroom. His debut EP, Blood Type, gave listeners an identity to the man behind the beautiful ballads that filled their headphones during the morning commute. Table of Context further builds on these foundations to give some context behind his identity.
The album explores a number of themes while also never settling into a single genre. It begins with warm guitar strings and drums so bare they sound like they came from Cautious stamping his feet on the ground. He opens things up right away with the lines, "Am I really that sorrow filled? Fuckin' to feel nothin’ is real." Brutal self-realizations are the cornerstone of this album.
His acoustic sound, along with his thoughts, drifts in and out of dreams. The Hudson Mohawke co-produced track "REASONS" has Cautious not only pitting purpose against pleasure but also has him fighting against the loud, pulsing electronic synths and drums that dominate the production. The conflict of the album goes deeper than just the production, with much of the album finding Clay attempting to find where the faults lay in his relationships—as well as with himself.
The album cover of Clay sitting at his humble little table where he is noted to make all of his music shows the intimacy of the music you're listening to when you plug into the album. At just 16 minutes of music, Table of Context is a simple wooden desk in a world of IKEA desks filled with too many features.