Interview : Cliffs + Caves Ending The Silence with “Defiance”

Cliffs + Caves are stepping into the Americana scene with their recent music video release “Defiance”. The lead single from their previously released EP Capsize, “Defiance” is undoubtedly the most powerful song in their repertoire. The lyrics of “Defiance” have a simple message – don’t be silent. Using their platform to encourage others to SPEAK UP for the defenseless, the powerless, and those who are broken, Cliffs + Caves are fierce and unapologetic about sharing this message. Hoping to create a revolution with their lyrics, the mother-daughter duo artfully crafts lyrical lines that hang heavy in the heart:

“Small acts of defiance, lead to revolution. If we all end our silence, there won’t be any confusion.”

” I don’t need your permission, I’m not waiting for you to concur with my vision, I can see the truth.”

Overall, “Defiance” is more than another single from an indie duo…. it is the basis of a message much bigger than ourselves. Lindsey Justice, the mother of the mother-daughter duo, sat down to give us her insight into what this song means to them, how it was inspired, and what’s next for the powerful duo that is just getting started.

“Defiance” was arguably the biggest single of your recent EP release, Capsize. What stands out to you as an artist about this song?

We had so much conviction about the subject matter- the great need to stand up for those who are powerless- so I think that came through during the recording. It also showcased Claire’s love of using electric effects on her acoustic guitar. She had so much fun coming up with the guitar parts the day we wrote “Defiance” together in our tiny upstairs art room.

Tell us the inspiration behind this song. What do you hope fans get from listening to it?

I heard an interview of a woman who had been abused and she said “people look specifically for those that already are broken, because they have a crack and are easier to get in and control- isn’t that so evil?”. I couldn’t stop thinking about how true that was. So, I wanted to write a song that stands up and speaks out against those that abuse a position of power to control, manipulate, harm or silence- especially children.

What’s your favorite lyrical line in “Defiance”?

“If we all end our silence, there won’t be any confusion”. We just need to be brave enough to speak up and say the truth about whatever injustice we witness going on around us.

What kind of change do you hope this song creates?

I hope it gives us all the courage to help come alongside those who are hurting and too afraid to tell their truth, and that our support and voice would begin to heal deep wounds.

As a mother-daughter duo, how do you work together to create songs that bridge the generational gap?

It’s a super fun process of bouncing lyrics off one another. Claire is open about telling me “oh that’s not how young people would say that” or “you can’t be that cheesy”- so she helps me a ton. But, I also think I bring a depth of subject matter that someone so young is maybe just beginning to understand. I’m so excited Claire is finally writing more- I’ve been on  her case for ages to WRITE about her experiences, because all that she is going through at this age is SO special and only happens once. Her first kiss, first love, typical high school pressures, and the anxiety her generation is dealing with – all of it. And of course I have all these years of experiences to pull from – being married for over 20 years, raising two teenagers, working forever as an interior designer, and serving in the ministry. I come up with most lyrics and she reads them and then comes up with the FEELing of the sound with her guitar and then we find the melody together… it’s a magical thing that we get to co-write together. 

What can fans expect next?

We are SO pumped to be working on songs for our first full length album. We had that as a goal before Claire graduates from high school. Can’t wait to share more about that SOON!

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