(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

I May Be Gone For A Long Long Time (2008) , 6.5/10
The Long Afternoon Of Earth (2009), 7/10

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.

The 13-minute Wrecks and Rescues was released on a 2008 cassette split with Shep and Me.

She embraced a subtler form of folktronica on the spartan The Long Afternoon Of Earth (Preservation, 2009), that featured longer and 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 jungle drums. 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.

Clay Camero was born with The Summer Is Over Before It's Begun (2011), on which she played piano and guitar accompanied by Andy Neubauer on cello. After Red Moon (2014), that contains the haunting Nico-esque Waning Moon, the sound of the better arranged Resurrection (2020) was influenced by producer and guitarist Grey Saguaro.

Hubbard is also active as the hip-hop musician Sports and in the improvising combo (D)(B)(H). Ancestral Diet was a duo with Andy Neubauer.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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