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

Pet Shop Boys: Electric (x2)

Pet Shop Boys: Electric (x2)

The PSBoys' aural fingerprint is so distinctive that it might be possible to go two ways on this one. You could say "heard it all before" in terms of dancefloor-directed beats, cool... > Read more

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (Universal)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2010 Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More (Universal)

This four-piece from London may have a banjo on hand and a similar way with an archaic lyric and alt.folk melody as Fleet Foxes, but here on their debut album with widescreen producer Markus... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO on twin-powered Japanese pop and Mothra movies

GUEST WRITER MADELINE BOCARO on twin-powered Japanese pop and Mothra movies

The Peanuts were one of Japan's first pop sensations, and the first to become well known internationally. Their career lasted from 1959-1975 and the diminutive duo comprised identical twin... > Read more

JOHN LENNON REISSUED ON RECORD (2015): Going solo in the Seventies

JOHN LENNON REISSUED ON RECORD (2015): Going solo in the Seventies

Had he lived, John Lennon would turn 75 on October 9. Which means – because he had 17 years on the world stage before his murder in 80 – that he's been dead twice as long as he was... > Read more