Album: The Cave Singers, Welcome Joy (Matador)
Friday 14 August 2009
Formed from the debris of three Seattle post-punk bands too obscure to mention by name, the Cave Singers are another trio working in the nu-folk wake of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, with all the accompanying growth of facial hair that entails.
Welcome Joy is an improvement over last year's Invitation Songs, on which they let songs meander on well beyond their welcome: these 10 tracks last between three and four minutes apiece, their condensed arrangements making a virtue of sweetness and simplicity. "Leap", for instance, is rapt and delicate, its sprightly but subdued snare shuffle and hypnotic guitar motif bringing to mind José González, until a burst of harmonica signals a build-up of momentum. Rhythm is their secret weapon, with "At the Cut" bowling along with a skiffle-style folksy hullabaloo, while the combination of hypnotic groove and unimposing songcraft in "I Don't Mind" develops with the minimalist charm of the third Velvet Underground album. But they're a well-named group, with Pete Quirk's tremulous, vibrato vocal possessing a muffled, distant quality that shrouds the songs in a pleasing mystery. But such lines as can be discerned convey an individual apprehension of emotional power.
Download this: Summer Light, Leap, I Don't Mind, Hen of the Woods
Broadcaster unveils Christmas scheduleTV
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Black Mirror Christmas special: Jon Hamm episode will see people 'blocked' in real life
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014: Ominous 'Last Christmas' title could signal Jenna Coleman's departure
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel expected to become overnight bestseller
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict