At first, Pete Quirk’s androgynous vocals might seem like some cross-pollinated Stevie Nicks/Ryan Adams hybrid, but once you get used to the idea, they’re actually quite soothing. Soft, acoustic arrangements balance a mellow sampling of lo-fi rock, and nearly all of the ten tracks here settle in nicely. Among them, the warm opener, “Seeds of Night,” the stirring “Dancing on our Graves,” and the winsome “The Bricks of our Home” make the band’s debut, Invitation Songs, as welcoming as the title implies.
What’s particularly notable about the Cave Singers is the band’s down-home, bluesy folk, a dramatic departure from bassist Derek Fudesco’s indie-pop role in Pretty Girls Make Graves and psych-punk outfit Murder City Devils, as well as Quirk’s punk band, Hint Hint. This kind of crossover is not easy to carry out convincingly, and often these undertakings sound forced and unnatural, eventually resulting in an unwanted stockpile in the used bin.
Not so with the Cave Singers. Invitation Songs is as compelling and likeable as their combined past projects were hard and edgy, as if they’ve been doing Nick Drake covers all along. That’s no small feat.