Perpetual Light is the new EP from Galway based six-piece collective Cubs which is made up of a diverse mix of artists from various other bands: Aaron Hurley (Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon), Cecilia Danell, Eddie Keenan (The Driftwood Manor), Scott McLaughlin (Phantom Dog Beneath The Moon), James Rider (United Bible Studies) and Keith Wallace (Loner Deluxe).
The album opens to a Sylvia Plath poem Gulliver which is sung by Cecilia Danell and definitely one of the album highlights. The mood for the song is cleverly set by an unusual and humorous recording of Sylvia Plath being interviewed by the BBC in the early 1960’s. Although only the final two sentences are used in the song the rest of that interview is worth digging out. It was released on CD in 2010 by the British Library. In the interview Plath is actually talking about how eccentric the English are and goes on to describe her first visit to an English home:
I went in and I remember the mother was doing needlepoint and I thought this was a charming English thing and I went over and she was doing a needlepoint of penicillin mold. And I saw that on the footstools instead of cozy roses or something of that sort, she had done needlepoint of rattlesnakes’ backs. And I remember particularly when I was going to bed at night, she very seriously offered me my choice of a hot water bottle or a cat. She didn’t have enough hot water bottles to go around or enough cats, but if she used both of them, they came out even. And I chose the cat.
The use of similar material as well as field recordings which include church bells and interviews about ghostly encounters give their music a psychedelic quality, a journey where you drift from the natural sounds of lapping waters accompanied by Aaron Hurley playing a simple Mandolin tune on From The Wilderness to the sound of church bells bringing you closer to habitation where ghosts congregate…for they do not know they are dead.
Despite being six members the EP makes good use of selective sparse arrangements which are no less alluring. There are ten tracks on offer some of which are short instrumental pieces which are no less deserving of the listener’s ear. James Rider’s primitive acoustic guitar playing on Shadowbrook and Perpetual Light are noteworthy as are Aaron Hurley’s exchange of acoustic for electric to accompany Cecilia Danell on White Owl. When the sound does build they create an almost classic 70’s folk sound with the use of Bouzouki and Melodica as on The First Day of Winter. Another stand-out track of the EP is Hummingbird/McAlindens Lament on which Danell and Aaron Hurley prove they have a perfect vocal partnership. It’s a delightful listen from start to finish.
Perpetual Light is released via Rusted Rail on August 1st 2013