The Cave Singers - Naomi

An album that makes you long for a beard, a porch, a shotgun and the onset of dusk.

Label: Secretly Canadian

Rating: 6

‘Naomi’ is not an album to run up, crack you on the back of the head with a cosh, bundle you into a van, drive you to a remote basement and refuse to allow you to leave until you agree that it is amongst the finest collections of tracks ever arranged in sequential fashion for the pleasure of a listening member of the public.

However, it is a perfectly pleasant, totally reasonable way of spending 50-ish minutes. An album that you can put your feet up with. An album whose glow you can bask in. An album whose undemanding, unhurried ways are easy to warm to. An album that makes you long for a beard, a porch, a shotgun and the onset of dusk.

But not an album that ever moves you. Given that all the members of The Cave Singers did stints in bands with somewhat higher tempos and louder intentions before this, the thought is that they might attempt some kind of melding of styles, but ‘Naomi’ doesn’t really ever veer far from its well trodden path.

Although there are hints that’s possibly a good thing. The small steps into the undergrowth, are a little awkward. Be it ‘Easy Way’ where the amps get turned up to 4, maybe 5, or just loud enough to almost drown out what sounds like an escaped flautist dancing through the recording studio, or ‘Northern Lights’ where they decide to chase an – annoyingly really pretty – acoustic opening with a half-hearted psychedelic freakout, you’re glad when they return to their stock in trade.

Which is sounding a bit like Neil Young, a like bit Bob Dylan and quite a lot like Fleet Foxes. And they’re alright at that. Both ‘Week To Week’ and ‘No Tomorrow’ gently lollop along, in the manner of a bear having a relaxed stroll back from his Sunday morning trip to the woods, and there is a decent amount of personality in Pete Quirks’ voice and the odd sparkle of inspiration in his turn of phrase.

None of which is sufficient to stop you damning Naomi with the faintest of faint praise: nice. Competent. Completely forgettable.