Right, well I hope you're up for some fireside folk on these dark and wintry evenings. It's Cubs, with their second LP 'Darkr Earlyr' following their 2011 debut 'The Whispering Woods' on Rusted Rail records. Taking advantage of the resurgence of interest in leftfield folk, the Irish band features members of A Lilac Decline, Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon, United Bible Studies and Loner Deluxe. Dreamy melodies, stellar improvisation and rustic songcraft make Darkr Earlyr an essential late-season listen.
CD £9.99 RR39
CD on Rusted Rail. Comes in gatefold card sleeve with wood finish.
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Winter. It's still a thing - just. It may be about twenty degrees in Leeds but it's dark at about 3pm and everything seems to have turned from colour into black and white. Best thing is to go inside, huddle next to a fire and do what I did on Monday night and bask in the television brilliance of Police Interceptors.
A nice time then for Irish collective Cubs to release a new album. We all know that the wind blows hardest from the west and the Galway coast is right in line when the latest American imported storm hits. The amusingly titled 'Darkr Earlyr' is a season appropriate collection of fire side folk songs featuring gently plucked acoustic guitars, whispered vocals, the odd clatter of percussion and spoken word interludes. What I like about Cubs is that they are folky without sounding too...um...folky. There's no traditional folk here, just late night strummings and pluckings that could bring to mind at various times the likes of Will Oldham, James Yorkston and Red House Painters. They are improved notably by the superb vocals of Cecelia Danell whose voice careens above the album elevating hearthside folk into something at times transcendental.
What I like about this 16 track album is that the standard 'song based' material are blended with instrumental interludes, spoken word sections, found sounds and shards of ambience leading the album to have a patchwork quilt quality where the next nice thing is just around the corner.
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