The Cave Singers, 'Welcome Joy' (Matador)

8
Welcome Joy
Critical Mass
Label: Matador

by Jon Young

Hope burns bright on this Seattle-based trio's enticing second album. Mumbly, scratchy-voiced Pete Quirk is more self-assured than on 2007's Invitation Songs, championing optimism and determination in the face of trouble, powered by sharp folk and country-blues guitars, plus no-frills percussion. On the swaggering "In the Cut," he proclaims, "I swear to be brave," and rejects the "old sad dream" of death in the shimmering "Hen of the Woods." Amid images of oceans and soaring birds, Quirk's account of lawn dancing on "VV" is poignantly uplifting.

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