The Cave Singers: Invitation Songs (Matador)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Cave Singers: Elephant Clouds
The Cave Singers: Invitation Songs (Matador)

Singers don't come with a more appropriate surname than Peter Quirk of Seattle's Cave Singers -- his vocals are indeed quirky. He delivers with nail-hard and assertive confidence, doesn't seem to have much of a range and there is a constant shudder to his sound.

Yet in these 10 originals by this three-piece his declamatory style rides over the simple and sometimes primitive rhythms (primitive in a good way) with such stark originality that it becomes quite compelling.

Their record label speaks of his "appealingly nasal voice [which] simultaneously echoes Arlo Guthrie and a mosquito's buzz" -- which is pretty accurate. Although I'd add in some suggestions of Paul Westerberg into the mix too.

The Cave Singers aren't an easy option and only in a few places do they conform to the "folk" label that they have been given. But there is something almost ancient-sounding here and in places it harks back to that "old weird American" which Harry Smith documented.

With finger-picked guitar and simple percussion (plus the odd hamronica and lonely trumpet), this low-key and earthy recording captures them much as you might find them in a living room or old barn. It has a raw but right ambience.

And Quirk's vocals will doubtless get you after a couple of listens.

But it may take a couple.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Handsome Family: Honey Moon (UN SPK)

The Handsome Family: Honey Moon (UN SPK)

Because we're more used to hearing this husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks in a dourly poetic and dark mood, this album's prevailing sentiments of optimism (as epitomised by its... > Read more

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2012: READERS' CHOICES

THE BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2012: READERS' CHOICES

That time of year again folks when Elsewhere invites you to name one or two – or three or four -- albums which shook your tree during 2012. Elsewhere tried to keep up with the game and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2009 (Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2009 (Border)

Billed as "the unofficial soundtrack to the French Film festival 2009" (and actually an Australian compilation so may bear absolutely no relation whatsoever to the French Film Festival we... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: David Long

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: David Long

Those who have followed the by-ways of David Long's busy life might wonder why this award-winning producer, composer and guitarist-without-portfolio – who was a founder member of the... > Read more