Indiana's multi-instrumentalist Clare Hubbard, disguised under the moniker
Caethua, crafted highly innovative folktronica on
I May Be Gone For A Long Long Time (Saxwand, 2007).
Oily Heat And Muddy Water
tentative "om"-like vocals
with little more than bells and rattles for accompaniment
She underestimated the
haunting psychedelic musique-concrete sonatas Cutting Away The Ice and
Like Wind But Not Wind, that were reduced to a couple of minutes,
and devoted the bulk of the album to
ethereal lullabies for trippy vocals and lazily strummed acoustic guitar,
notably God How I Miss Her and Young Death,
with the occasional
surreal street jig (Get Along, not quite as psychotic as David Peel's classic ones).
Variety was provided by a
melancholy easy-listening nugget like Gone For A Long Long Time and
by The Dark Cannot Say that sounded like a slow-motion and stripped-down
version of neoclassical lied.
She embraced a subtler form of folktronica on the spartan
The Long Afternoon Of Earth (Preservation, 2009), that featured longer
more organic songs and refined the psychological dimension of her art while
simplifying the sonic one.
Other than the traditional folkish Kate and
the quintessential solipsistic meditation of
The Brunt Of Every Winter ,
none of the songs sticks to
a simple formula, despite the appearances.
In A Garden Barely Looked At is a duet with
the sound of running water.
The typical slow pace of her philosophizing becomes a penetrating trick in
Into The Dog Dayed Night, basically a dark blues with bird calls and
A piano sets the rhythm for In The Long Afternoon, a deconstruction of a waltz for dilated angelic laments. Old Cat does something similar
with the bass replacing the piano. Both achieve an almost spiritual quality.
The peak of pathos, however, is reached in
The Old Ones Go First, a duet with crickets and supernatural drones,
which is only hummed.
Another unorthodox setting is found in Day Break, a melancholy chant
set amongst breathing machines and strident drones with a coda that sounds
like a sax-driven funeral march.
The voice almost disappears in the droning and puffing black hole of
Highways In The Deathlight.
At the other (traditional) end of the spectrum,
the more lively Lament and Sons Of The Hounds could be hits
if arranged properly.
Slow In A Sleeping Wind
The Cold Stark North East
also active as the hip-hop musician Sports and in the improvising combo
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