The Cave Singers

The Cave Singers

There's no tomorrow / Set a place at the table
If every story is a story about love, what of suffering, surrender, and redemption? Life says they're in there too. Along with traffic jams and dishes, jobs and sunsets and spilling all the red wine on the floor. All of it.
Naomi, the fourth record from Northwestern mystics The Cave Singers, is a totem to these things: the every-, any-, all- ways of life. Written over the span of ten months and recorded in one, it bears a new and more expansive production style that captures the live performance energy the band has developed over the past five years. The disc was engineered and produced at Avast Studios in Seattle by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Built To Spill, Shins, Modest Mouse). Each song on the album functions like a chapter in a bigger story, addressing themes of the past, exhuming the memories under moonlight. There are songs of addiction, car ownership, fireworks, tree houses, moving to New Mexico, and God, each shifting in all the ways that make life difficult and miraculous, astounding and beautiful.
Get quiet for awhile / Happy for each single breath
The core trio of singer Pete Quirk, guitarist Derek Fudesco & drummer Marty Lund have added long time friend Morgan Henderson (Blood Brothers, Fleet Foxes) on bass and extra instrumentation to round out The Cave Singers family. Together they have charted new territory for the band both musically and spiritually, while remaining true to their distinctive brand of brushfired folk. After some time in the dark wealth of the unknown, they have returned to the light with a revitalized purpose. Making music as a cure. Music as a home you always have.
I'm done with sorrow / Don't need to follow
But who or what is Naomi? Naomi is the farthest star just within sight. The tiniest shell, that though broken, remains whole. A fictional muse, who sleeps it off on your couch with her shoes still on. A holy waitress of the cosmos. A miracle, a change, a rekindled sinner who paints all his neighbor's homes for free. A breath, a beat of the heart. A love.
Sit here at the window / Watch it all move through rain
By all accounts, No Witch is The Cave Singers' rock record. Laid to tape with dark wizard producer Randall Dunn (Black Mountain, Sunn O))), Boris), No Witch is grander and more lush than The Cave Singers' previous efforts. It's also a nervier, scrappier affair: greasy guitars buck and rear up; Eastern-influenced blues snake through songs; gospel choirs rise up like tidal waves. There are big, grinning nods to Beggars Banquet-era Stones, the best of Mellencamp ("Clever Creatures") and the juke joint legends of Mississippi like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside ("Black Leaf" and "No Prosecution If We Bail"). Of course, it's all filtered through that particular, magical Cave Singers formula: Pete Quirk's reedy, behind-the-beat delivery and existential wordplay, Derek Fudesco's lyrical guitar runs and drummer Marty Lund's no nonsense rhythms.

No Witch is a newfound sheen to the aura that made The Cave Singers' music so special to begin with. All told, there's treasure to be found here for the biker gang weekender, the double rainbow chaser and all that falls in the valley between them.

True to the ever-present dichotomies that serve as a source of inspiration for her, Lia Ices' emotionally driven and experimental pop music is both avant-garde and timeless. A natural yet refined grace permeates her work: she is a piano herself. Dancing on a finely crafted line between the percussive qualities of her instrument, and the melodic elements within the rhythm of her voice, Ices' music reveals itself as epiphany. With such overt elegance as if from a bygone era, listening to her songs inspires a psychic time slip, and its hard to know if you're wading in the warmest of memories or awed by the invention and glow of new surroundings.

The album starts with an inviting whisper on stand-out track "Love is Won", as Ices' vocals "O you know I need yer mystic mind" are accompanied by solo piano. Less than a minute in, we start to catch a glimpse at the depths of the record as we find ourselves, all of a sudden, in the midst of a swaying, swaggering down tempo soul, punctuated by bass and drum interplay.

The quiet moments are very quiet, and the space within them is palpable. On "Lilac," a single voice occupies the intimate yet expansive space generated by sparse acoustic guitar and bass. Such a delicate balance is struck that when slight brushwork enters, its impact is surprisingly startling. The warm directness is perhaps best exemplified in a moment of stand out vocals as Ices sings beseechingly, "For only you, I sing for only you, I sing." Ices' voice floats and flutters around you, like the leaves from trees on a fleeting fall day, and the instrumentation matches that subtle dynamism. Grown Unknown is a walk in the park on a day of carnival, the most beautiful day so far this year.

Appearing as a guest vocalist for "Daphne," the only duet on the album, is Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. The magic generated by Ices' and Vernon's voices together is quite simply a powerful thing. Enjoy.

Grown Unknown was recorded at The Clubhouse, Rhinebeck, NY, and mixed at Rare Book Room, NY, NY.

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The Cave Singers with Lia Ices

Saturday, April 9 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at Zanzabar

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