Cave Women: Cave Women (2012)
The nexus between this all-female quintet and Neanderthal expressionism is nonexistent, so what exactly does the Cave Women name stand for? This is a question that bears asking, but the answer isn't so simple. These five women paint sunny scenes and blend folk strains, world music, jazz and pop, but they never fully commit to a single one of these musical suitors; they prefer, instead, to play the aural field and keep their options open.
The Cave Women name is highly misleading and semi-farcical, given the gently sophisticated nature of this music, but that may be the point; these ladies would rather confound than conform. If this band's music required labeling and categorization, it could be dubbed the West Coast chill, indie-global-folk cousin of the Becca Stevens Band. These Cave Women make music that goes down smooth but leaves various flavor notes, from the floral and fragrant to the folksy and foreign, on the back end; earthy and airy aftertastes abound in this atmosphere.
Slinky musical maneuvers driven by accordion, guitar, and less-is-more drums start things off ("Blizzard"), and pleasant vocal harmonies coast atop light, mbira-driven Afro-folk at the other end of the program ("Under The Willow Tree"). Everything in-between skews toward the mellow side, but never slips into slumber land. "With You" has just enough bounce and groove to make its mark, haunting vocals and guitar are blissfully wed on "Hunger," and "Counting Sheep" captures the mystique inherent in the Cave Women sound.
From an instrumental standpoint, guitarist Alicyn Yaffee and flautist Kim Davis prove to be the standouts, but this band isn't really about putting one or two people out front; the Cave Women philosophy is all about pooling talent and building a unified front.
Track Listing: Blizzard; Who Needs Dreams?; With You; Counting Sheep; Fall; Balloons; Hunger; Something To Remember; Under The Willow Tree.
Personnel: Alicyn Yaffee: guitar, vocals; Casey Lipka: bass, mbira, vocals; Kim Davis: flute, piano, vocals; Emily Messick: guitar, piano, vocals; Vanessa Cruz: drums.
Record Label: Cave Women Music