The Cave Singers – No Witch

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, The Cave Singers have a different blend of folk than most of the more traditional stuff coming out of the East.  No Witch is their third proper album, and it continues to further the band’s sound, this time adding some newer elements that give a bit of a twist to their sound.

Beginning the album is “Gifts and the Raft,” which has an extremely quiet whispering element to it, perhaps reinforced by placing vocals atop vocals.  String arrangements give the song more depth, especially when they sound like a shimmer, rather than the more pristine parts that come later. Quiet folk presides with the second track, “Swim Club,” barely changing things up from the first track.  This isn’t a knock by any means, as this song uses some more production twists that enhance The Cave Singers on this adventure.

“Black Leaf” gives No Witch a bit of a lift, with a grittier bit of guitar.  For the whole of the song, you can feel a bit of a folk-stomp building, and this allows for some differentiation before the sound is swallowed up.  However, this song shares so many sonic similarities to “At the Cut” from Welcome Joy that it’s hard to get past the track as a bit of a rehash from the previous record. Still, it allows the group to go beyond just this gentle folk with raspy vocals, moving into a slightly haunting “Falls.”  Here, the pacing alone forces you to fill in the empty space.  Pete Quirk definitely shows off a bit more range here, or at least a bit more technique.  And then suddenly the band heads off into a bit of a psychedelic folk groove mid-track, even using some organ.

It is, of course, great to have some of the past living here, especially with songs like “Outer Realms,” but one would be mistaken to call the rest of the album more run of the mill Cave Singers tracks.  For instance, you have “Clever Creatures,” a song that uses a more present drum track than I remember the band utilizing in the past.  Put that alongside Quirk giving more of a forceful vocal performance throughout the entirety of No Witch, and you have the band moving in a more complete direction.  In the past, while I’ve loved everything, there’s always seemed to be just one thing missing, but this is not the case here at all.  “Haystacks” is one of the record’s stronger offerings, beginning with some harmonica to open it all up.  But, in the middle, you get the feeling of a gospel-influenced folk song, much as they’ve all been traditionally.  It now seems that band have completely moved from being labeled as just a post-punk folk outing.

Whether or not you’re familiar with The Cave Singers is probably irrelevant by this point, as the band seem to have really pushed themselves forward on No Witch.  Yes, you’ll find pleasurable, yet traditional, tracks like “Swim Club” to keep around old fans, but there seems to be so much more within the folds of these tracks.  Just take the brief shrieks on closing track “No Prosecution if We Bail,” and you’ll see that a more rocking element is beginning to emerge.  In the end, the band seems to have grown, filling out their sound with new elements, giving us a record that is anything but incomplete.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/02_Swim_Club_1.mp3]

Download: The Cave Singers – Swim Club [MP3]

New Tunes from The Cave Singers

We absolutely loved Welcome Joy, the last album by The Cave Singers, so you know we’re going to be really excited by their new record, No Witch.  Of course, you’ll notice a label change, as they’ve ended up on JagJaguwar instead of Matador.  It’s got that same whispering folk feel we’ve come to love from the band, all made every bit more gentle by Quirk’s throaty vocal approach.  You can expect to see No Witch on February 22nd of next year, so get ready for another incredibly brilliant piece of work from the group.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/02_Swim_Club_1.mp3]

Downlaod: The Cave Singers – Swim Club [MP3]

New Music From Women

I have been thoroughly enjoying this new track “Narrow with the Hall” from Canadian indie rock band Women.  The track starts off a little noisy but slowly builds into a head bobber with that nice backing bass line.  Fans of the tune can pick up their copy of the band’s upcoming LP Public Strain September 28th on Jagjaguwar.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/women-narrow.mp3]

Download: Women – Narrow With the Hall [MP3]

New Music From Wolf People

Man I’m really digging this new UK band that just signed to JagJaguwar called Wolf People.  Sure you may be sick of all the damn bands with Wolf in their name (I am), but these guys have a great throw back sound I can’t get enough of.  Coming across as sort of a 60s psychedelic rock band with a banging rhythm section, I hope you’ll quickly see the appeal.  Oh and that flute in the background… hell yeah.  You can expect the debut LP from Wolf People, Steeple, to hit stores this Fall on October 12th.  Hope you enjoy this jam as much as I do.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/02-Tiny-Circle-1.mp3]

Download: Wolf People – Tiny Circle [MP3]

New Tunes from S. Carey

JagJaguwar just announced that they will be releasing the debut album from S. Carey titled All We Grow on August 24th.   You might no Sean from his gig as one of the percussionists for Bon Iver, and you’ll recognize a similar sound coming from the first single “In The Dirt.”  It has a bedroom quality that’s soft and gentle, warranting repeated listens as you relax on those warm summer evenings.  So far, there’s not a thing not to like, so enjoy.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/03-In-The-Dirt.-1.mp3]

Download: S. Carey – In The Dirt [MP3]

New Music From Peter Wolf Crier

Recent JagJaguwar signee Peter Wolf Crier are prepping their debut album, Inter-Be for a May 25th release.  Prior to that release, the duo have made this new single “Crutch and Crane” available for download.  It’s a got a bit of an old timey feel to it reminiscent of a dirty blues romp in someone’s backyard.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/crutchandcane.mp3]

Download: Peter Wolf Crier – Crutch and Cane [MP3]

New Pink Mountaintops

pinkmountaintopsphotoThis may be a bit sad bastard for some of you, but I think this is a nice little jam that goes well with the change of the season.  Mastermind of Pink Mountaintops, Stephen McBean, is most widely known as the front man for Canadian powerhouse Black Mountain.  Call it a side project if you want, the “band” has a new album hitting stores on May 5th via JagJaguwar called Outside Love.  Breezy little single “While We Were Dreaming” is bellow for your enjoyment.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/pink-mountaintops-while-we-were-dreaming.mp3]

Download: Pink Mountaintops – While We Were Dreaming [MP3]

The Lord Dog Bird

We recently read about this band, The Lord Dog Bird, on the NPR website and found their stuff quite interesting. The band is a stripped down side project of Colin McCann, who plays guitar for Baltimore rock band Wilderness. You can read more about The Lord Dog Bird or order the new self-titled album on the Jagjaguwar record label website. Newest single “The Gift of Song in the Lions Den” from Mr. McCann’s new solo act can be found below. Give it a few listens, and I’m sure you’ll learn to love it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/thegiftofsonginthelionsden1.mp3]

Download: The Lord Dog Bird – The Gift of Song in the Lions Den [MP3]

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