John's Track of the Week: "Elephant Clouds"

Song: Elephant Clouds
Artist: The Cave Singers
Album: Invitation Songs
Year: 2007

Some may remember art-punk outfit Pretty Girls Make Graves.  Some may also remember that Derek Fudesco was part of said group.  Well, since PGMG disbanded in 2007, Fudesco's been making music with The Cave Singers, and the results sound nothing at all like his former band's work.  On Invitation Songs, The Cave Singers established themselves in the sometimes-crowded folky campfire scene with solid and interesting tunes about love, life and societal struggle.  At the time, Pitchfork suggested that Invitation Songs sound could just be a filler for something more profound on a subsequent record.  As much as that seems to be true- what we've heard thus far from Welcome Joy is definitely a marked progression, their debut effort is still a legitimate record in its own right.

The field which appears on the cover of the album is a very apt visualization of what you're experiencing with all of the songs, but "Elephant Clouds" in particular seems to attach itself the best.  Using a soft acoustic part, teamed with a rapid drum roll in the background, lead singer Pete Quirk's voice carries in a haunting echo until the mid-way point.  The mid-section provides a more intense vocal display, complete with background vocal support, before suddenly dropping down, and back to the more subdued mood of the beginning.  Quirk's best Bob Dylan impression works to perfection here, and creates a relaxing and soothing sound that almost makes you feel like you're at a religious revival.  Still, a great track that could probably make it into a summer playlist.  Check it out below.

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