Much like fellow Seattle brethren, Fleet Foxes, The Cave Singers mine a deeply rooted vein of country-rock tinged with folk that seems to be taking over the Northwest. But unlike Fleet Foxes who rely on their lush, choir-like harmonies to create unwavering ambiance, The Cave Singers attack their music with a much simpler approach, relying on more straight-forward, bluesy Americana sound that uses loose, simple drumming and dirty, finger-picked guitar ripped from the back-porch to give lead singer Pete Quirk’s voice a dark, shaman-esque quality.
No Witch veers from the bounce of the album-opening “Gifts and the Raft” and “Swim Club” that both move with a light folky-pop glide, to the harder-edged, angry blues of “Black Leaf,” “Falls,” and “No Prosecution If We Fail.” This back and forth, ping-ponging approach gives the impression of an unfocused effort at times, but The Cave Singers pull it off with songwriting that finds the near-perfect balance between pop accessibility and soulful realism. This can be a dangerous ground to tread though. Stray too far one way, and your well-crafted tune with an interesting hook becomes a parody of itself, lost in a sea of other once well intentioned albums. Fortunately for the Cave Singers, they tread that razor-thin line with balanced perfection making No Witch a blast of pure joy.
No Witch is out now on Jagjaguwar.