4 To Watch: The Cave Singers

Voices From Underground

Music Features The Cave Singers
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Hometown: Seattle
Members (L to R): Marty Lund (drums, guitar), Pete Quirk (vocals, guitar, melodica, harmonica), Derek Fudesco (guitar, bass pedals)
Fun fact: Quirk daylights as a bike messenger, and has been “hit by cars a lot.” And Fudesco played bass with Pretty Girls Make Graves.
Why they’re worth watching: Though Fudesco is new to the guitar, the band has already drawn raves for West Coast performances—which feature washboards.
For fans of: Neil Young, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Stalactites and stalagmites aren’t a cozy image. But The Cave Singers live in what seems like suburban-sitcom ease: a Seattle house complete with a yard and a basement practice space. Having only played together for a year, these subterraneans have barely had time to create a bustle in their hometown’s saturated music scene. “Pretty much everybody who you’re going to encounter on the street, in a bar, or in a restaurant is in a band,” says guitarist Derek Fudesco.

But the steady heartbeat of debut album Invitation Songs—punctuated by the occasional harmonica murmur—is propelling The Cave Singers beyond the ?at line of anonymity. Pete Quirk’s bleating voice rises above the band’s acoustic sound, a droning shuffle that calls to mind sunrises, time-lapses and even country drives. “I do ?nd it’s perfect,” says Quirk, an alum of noisy post-punk band Hint Hint, “for how I feel right now with living my life—not as much screaming and falling off stages.”

While the album buzzes with folk in?uence, “Dancing on Our Graves” has a beat like a war march, and “New Monuments” courses with seedy, Sin City-esque undertones. “We don’t like calling ourselves a folk band, but people keep on saying that we’re a folk band even though none of us even listen to folk music that much,” Quirk says.

After touring with Canadian rockers Black Mountain, The Cave Singers, particularly Fudesco, are eager to go abroad—especially to Spain. “He’s a big fan of tapas,” Quirk quips, “so that’s why we’re going to record in Spain.” But only if armed with a washboard.