11 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Certainly to the relief of many who discovered the beauty of Cave Singers on 2007’s Invitation Songs, Welcome Joy finds the band staying the course, continuing to make spare, folk-inspired pop music. Though a slightly narcoticized ‘70s vibe is being channeled here, it’s more vintage Fleetwood Mac than, say, Vanilla Fudge, and the finger-picked guitars and the raspy, pinched vocals of Pete Quirk will also appeal to fans of Bon Iver and José Gonzalez (not to mention the Velvet Underground). Shimmering with glittery tambourines and rippling, hypnotic guitar-plucking, the Seattle band is on more sure footing this time around, keeping a tighter rein on the whole, and even use an occasional rocked-up tempo (“Leap,” “At the Cut”) to keep things moving. “I Don’t Mind” reminds us of the long-gone Miracle Legion, and that’s a very fine thing. Welcome Joy features special guest appearances by Amber Webber (Black Mountain and Lightning Dust) and Ashley Webber (Lightning Dust), and bonus track “Oh Child” is crushingly lovely, and worth seeking.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Certainly to the relief of many who discovered the beauty of Cave Singers on 2007’s Invitation Songs, Welcome Joy finds the band staying the course, continuing to make spare, folk-inspired pop music. Though a slightly narcoticized ‘70s vibe is being channeled here, it’s more vintage Fleetwood Mac than, say, Vanilla Fudge, and the finger-picked guitars and the raspy, pinched vocals of Pete Quirk will also appeal to fans of Bon Iver and José Gonzalez (not to mention the Velvet Underground). Shimmering with glittery tambourines and rippling, hypnotic guitar-plucking, the Seattle band is on more sure footing this time around, keeping a tighter rein on the whole, and even use an occasional rocked-up tempo (“Leap,” “At the Cut”) to keep things moving. “I Don’t Mind” reminds us of the long-gone Miracle Legion, and that’s a very fine thing. Welcome Joy features special guest appearances by Amber Webber (Black Mountain and Lightning Dust) and Ashley Webber (Lightning Dust), and bonus track “Oh Child” is crushingly lovely, and worth seeking.

TITLE TIME
4:06
3:49
3:01
4:39
3:28
3:43
2:56
3:45
3:09
2:55
4:24

About The Cave Singers

Given the rising popularity of meditative, folky indie acts in the early 2000s, forming a twangy, rootsy folk trio was probably the least surprising move Derek Fudesco could have made. The former bassist and founding member of the successful indie rock group Pretty Girls Make Graves picked up an acoustic guitar and formed the Cave Singers following PGMG's demise in January 2007, teaming up with vocalist Pete Quirk (formerly of Hint Hint) and drummer Marty Lund (formerly of Cobra High). Though not an "official" member, ex-PGMGer Andrea Zollo made an appearance on the group's first album as a vocalist and washboard player. Drawing from canonical folkies like Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and sounding more than a little like other early-2000s acts like Lightning Dust, the Snake the Cross the Crown, and Samamidon, the group had its first album, Invitation Songs, recorded and ready to go (thanks in large part to Black Mountain producer Colin Stewart) within months of PGMG's breakup. Matador picked up the trio soon after, and following a few delays Invitation Songs was slated for release in late September. The band continued on a similar path for 2008's Welcome Joy, but worked with producer Randall Dunn -- who also made albums with Sunn 0))) and Boris -- on 2011's eclectic No Witch. Following that record the band was joined by former Blood Brothers bassist Morgan Henderson, who was also doing time as bassist in Fleet Foxes. The expanded group spent 2012 working on its summery fourth album, Naomi, which was released on Jagjaguar in early 2013. In 2015, the Cave Singers began work on their fifth album, and rather than working with a record company, they opted to coordinate the project themselves and financed the recording through a crowdfunding campaign. The campaign raised 116 percent of the group's goal, and the album, Banshee, was released in February 2016. ~ Margaret Reges

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