My imagination keeps going to an image while listening to New York band ‘Family Cave.’ The image is vivid; a group of once hipsters, who shed the coat of New York ‘hipsterism‘ for a coat of bear fur. The foursome of Jason Shine, Kristina Thoergesen, Julio Montero, and Mitch Lestner sitting around a campfire, in, obviously, a nicely suited cave. They are surrounded by cave paintings and rocks and rock sheets barely hung together to make wheels. They play rudimentary instruments, vocal harmonies loud enough for the sound to creep out the cave and down the valley. ‘Family Cave’ is pure “roughing it”- out in the wild strumming handmade instruments and playing for no one but themselves.
It’s a great image, something akin to cave dwellers in our history crafting the very first song ever. Of course, the actual group is a lot less archaic and more elegant and more touching in all the right places. Their new EP ‘Direction’ is a melancholy collection for folk ditties and ethereal harmonies. At a swift 15 minutes, the EP’s four song collective comes in and out, rising over bopping guitar arrangements and almost always accented by the group’s insistence in stepping in and out of background vocals.
Soft synths and strings float above the songs. The title track ‘Direction’ is spiriting and engaging, like a campfire ballad. The opening track ‘Place For Me’ is stronger on the pop hooks,
The group channels Fleet Foxes with a greater reassurance and confidence than one would expect. Gone is the bearded hipster songwriting and whining, replaced by charging chorus’ and the sweet melodies of the rest of the group fronted by Jason Shine. Charging similar aesthetics to groups like Good Old War and Iron and Wine, the group set a firm foot in a very well-defined contemporary genre. So what if they aren’t ACTUAL cave dwellers? Neither is Bon Iver- that Grammy Award winning maestro busy biding his time at Los Angeles film release parties. ‘Family Cave’ manages to juggle exuberant joyful energy with sweet and tidy tracks, establishing a perfect median.
Join Family Cave at their EP Release Show, Saturday, October 13th at 11pm in Venice, California at The Good Hurt
About Ryan Merkel
Ryan Merkel is a writer on music, pop culture, entertainment, business, and all those other fun things which make life tick. He is an entrepreneur, designer, and overall pop culture enthusiast. Ryan owns the clothing line LoveMended with his wife, which focuses on fashion and charity, as well as the music blog CultureTease. Ryan is the author of two novels, and currently lives in Florida.