Cadence involves measuring patterns of sounds, listening carefully to the spaces between the notes for the pacing of lyrics and musical notes, giving oneself over to the cascading patterns of sound that emerge in the songs themselves. On her new album, Cinder Well gives herself over to a cinematic cadence that sets an atmospheric pacing in these songs that course and flow like still waters in meandering rivulets or rush in waves like the ocean.
Lush strings wash over the sonic landscape to open “Overgrown,” clearing the way for ringing guitar fingerpicking that circles around Well’s echoing vocals as they play call and response with the guitar’s notes. There’s a hint of Nanci Griffith’s crystalline vocals from Griffith’s “Love at the Five and Dime” in the refrain of this song.
The haunting title track mesmerizes with ethereal viola and fiddle strains of chamber folk, creating a melancholic, shivering dark night of the soul. Well’s spiraling vocals become another instrument that creates the wall of sound in this psychedelic folk that would be at home on any album by Fairport Convention. The spacious “Well on Fire” evokes the yearnings that grow out of resistance and the hopes that live within the linings of our souls; the melody elides into the following song “Crow,” a gently twirling meditation on moving through life either by leaving your presence with those left behind or by disappearing through a hole you have cut in the air.
A stand out, “Returning” features circling guitar strums and aching fiddle strains. The instruments dance through the waltzing hopes that rise when one goes back to a familiar place and finds disappointments hidden there.
With her shimmering vocals and exquisite, echoing melodies, Cinder Well searches out the light that illuminates our lives even in the midst of the shadows that envelop us in gloom. On Cadence Cinder Well has found just the right pace in her poignant and evocative songwriting.
Cadence is available HERE.