The Cave Singers’ poppier, laconic new album
Touring behind their fourth album, “Naomi,” The Cave Singers to play Showbox at the Market.
Special to The Seattle Times
The Cave Singers (with Bleeding Rainbow)
9 p.m. Saturday (doors open at 8) at Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $19.99 (800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com).
For Seattle indie-rock band The Cave Singers, featuring former members of several notable local bands, each new album takes on a life of its own.
“We have a similar kind of creative process for all our records, letting the record shape itself organically,” lead singer Pete Quirk (formerly of Hint Hint) said by phone from a tour stop in Tucson, Ariz.
“We just sort of live our lives and let those experiences fold themselves into the record and dictate what it’s going to be about. So it’s never like blueprinted out.”
The Seattle group’s fourth album, “Naomi,” followed a year of songwriting and a month of recording. “Naomi,” named for a fictional muse, is the band’s second album for JagJaguwar since “No Witch” in 2011.
“We didn’t really have a target date to finish the album,” Quirk said. “We were just writing for the enjoyment of writing music. It only took a month to record because it was sort of our first record that was completed before we went into the studio.”
With new member Morgan Henderson (formerly of Blood Brothers and Fleet Foxes) on bass, The Cave Singers have a fuller, more complex sound. The band, which also features guitarist Derek Fudesco (Pretty Girls Make Graves) and drummer Marty Lund (Cobra High), has moved beyond the minimalism of its earlier albums.
“In general, I thought this batch of songs would benefit from a bigger production style and be a little more pop-oriented. Adding Morgan on bass and flute was a conscious choice to make a step toward a new dimension,” Quirk said.
Helping achieve that bigger sound was Seattle producer Phil Ek, whose breakthrough came nearly 20 years ago with Built to Spill’s second album, “There’s Nothing Wrong With Love.” Ek has also produced for Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, The Shins and Mudhoney.
“All of his records are amazing, and we knew that it was going to be a different experience recording with him,” Quirk said. “It would be a little bit more high-fidelity. But I really didn’t know what to expect. He just brought in his vast expertise and his ideas, and we met in the middle.”
“It’s a Crime,” a raw, urgent song featuring Quirk’s soulful vocals, sounds like a modern-day salute to seminal Northwest garage rock, while “Karen’s Car” is a wistful (and easily misunderstood) tune about a romantic relationship, using a car as a metaphor.
“I think of it as a postcard of a romantic relationship evolving or coming to an end and the person sort of holding on to the feeling they had when they were in that person’s car and personal space,” Quirk said. “You realize that that time is over now, but maybe you’re not ready to move on.”
The Cave Singers are currently on a cross-country tour that features a show Saturday at Showbox at the Market.
Quirk is gratified that crowds have grown much larger and more enthusiastic.
“In some cities, it’s been a surprise how large they’ve grown,” he said. “What’s more, we’ve all kept our sanity. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Gene Stout: firstname.lastname@example.org