There is something rather comforting to this album, an almost homely feel to the slightly country influenced brand of folk that The Cave Singers create. Perhaps it’s the acoustic simplicity that gives this air of unassuming naïvety to the album, or perhaps it’s the hint of a croak in lead singer Pete Quirk’s voice; either way the music is trustworthy.
These words (comforting, homely, trustworthy) are not by any means euphemisms for boring. True, this isn’t the most inventive album you will hear this year, this month, perhaps even this week, but not every band has to be a mother of invention to produce beautiful music. One could argue that The Cave Singers love using hammer-ons a little too much, or that there is a general tempo that the songs tend not to stray too far from, or that the mood of almost every song is the same (a mix of contemplation, contentment and comfort), and one might be right, but this makes for an album that feels tied together, like each song on it springs from the same mind, and the same heart, with the same emotions.
The album’s highlights are the opening track, ‘Summer Light’, the brilliant ‘Leap’ which (excuse me) leaps from the wonderful first guitar riff into a fully-fledged piece with some great drums and a harmonica, and the softly building ‘Beach House’ which is a charming beauty waiting to be discovered. The final song, ‘Bramble’, is a melancholy close which makes clever use of reverb and slight echo, giving it space and time to draw a sad veil over the album as a whole.
Get past the fact that the songs do admittedly sound very similar, accept that as the band’s style, forget that perhaps it will take a few listens to distinguish a couple of songs, and listen. Appreciate. There is a splendid beauty to this album, a – dare I say it? – Welcome Joy.
Words: Robbie Hayward