Show Preview: Cave Singers @ Red 7 (6/11)

Date Monday, June 11th
Location Red 7
Doors 900 pm
Tickets $10 at the Door

I was so excited to get the chance to see Crocodiles perform tonight at Stubbs that I completely went unaware of the impending show by Cave Singers tonight.  I aim to rectify my oversight, knowing that Cave Singers always bring their A game to the live setting.  Their last record, No Witch, spent a lot of time on my playlist, and I hope you spent some time with it as well.  If you’ve got the funds, then this is definitely a show you should get out and see.  Smoke and Feathers will probably kick things off around 10 PM.

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

Download:The Cave Singers – Swim Club [MP3]

 

Show Preview: Fleet Foxes @ Stubbs (5/10)

Date Tuesday, May 10th
Location Stubbs
Doors 700 PM
Tickets Sold Out!

There’s a reason this show is sold out, that being that Fleet Foxes are one of the hottest bands around, even though they seemingly disappeared for several years while recording Helplessness Blues. All that extra time led to the crafting of a magnificent album, filled with those warm harmonies and folk stylings, better than practically anything else out there. You won’t just find one great band, however, on this bill, because Cave Singers are a phenomenal act in their own right.  They released their third album, No Witch, and it established the band as one of our favorites here at ATH.  You might not be able to buy tickets, but you know there will be tons of folks trying to earn a buck by scalping a ticket or two.  If you got one, you’re lucky, if you’re looking, keep on, as this show aims to be nothing more than one of the most remarkable nights in Austin.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/FleetFoxes_HelplessnessBlues.mp3]

Download: Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues [MP3]

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]