Cave Clove Brings Swamp-Pop And Soul, Nov 9

Photo courtesy of Cave Clove.

Oakland, California quartet, Cave Clove will bring their powerful blend of soul, pop, and rock & roll to our lucky little town. And yes, that’s a school night, do it anyway. You’ve been working too hard and you deserve a nice night out. Have a beer and lighten up a little, jeez.

Cave Clove frontwoman, Katie Colver grew up in Los Angeles, and her parents, being alumni of UC Santa Cruz from the late 60s, brought home the musical excitement of that time and place. In addition to her family’s music parties and jam sessions, Colver found herself smitten with 70s artists like Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and Tom Petty. She learned guitar, banjo, ukulele, and harmonium along the way, and mastered the use of her favorite instrument: her voice.

Colver was eventually drawn to Oakland by the kindred spirits and artistic community she found there. 

“[The Oakland arts community] felt like an extended family to me for the past 10 years,” she says. 

Soon after, she began developing a solo project under the name Katie Clover. Channeling her folk and Americana roots, she released the album “Cabin Habits” in 2011. With this record, she utilized familiar folk melodies and rhythms paired with haunting lyrics that peel back the veil of humanity to expose the darkness just underneath.

Colver enlisted the help of a friend on drums, and Cave Clove was born. Colver then turned the camera inward with her songwriting, earnestly expressing her thoughts and internal struggles. The band continued to perform live and record new songs, the most striking of these recordings being their “Bases of Pyramids” EP in 2013.

Pyramids is a musical and lyrical departure from Colver’s previously released material, and each level of this record offers the listener a surprise. This six-song EP mixes friendly, upbeat tunes with somber minor-key ballads and Louisiana swamp-pop-inspired rock and roll, all while treating us to unexpected instruments, including the sitar, around every turn. This eclectic mix of styles and sounds flows beautifully, keeping us on our toes and rewarding us for it.

In 2015, Colver was joined by accomplished bay-area guitarist Brent Curriden, and the talented Alisa Saario of the band Saalt on bass. With the addition of new members, they did one of the best things a band can do: they got louder. After pleasing audiences up and down California with this newest embodiment of sound, they recorded a full length self-titled album and released it in 2016.

This record is a genuine and soulful wellspring that Colver and her band have seemingly freed from the confines of the earth. With their single “Kyrie,” they harness the power of religious invocation, harkening back to Colver’s days in high school choir, and dare us to have a religious experience. 

“The ideal Cave Clove listening state of mind is ‘ready for transformation’,” said Colver just after the album’s release.

Nick Moore then joined on drums, completing the band in its current form, and Colver couldn’t be happier about it. 

“Having these four people has been great,” she says, “we’re all down to play, we’re down to tour, we get along, we love each other!”

Katie Colver sings and speaks with a rare level of honesty and introspection, and this is the bedrock of Cave Clove’s sound. Get ready for an emotionally charged and high-energy show.

Cave Clove plays Thursday, Nov 9 at Bombs Away Cafe with Portland three-piece The Desert Kind. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. No cover charge, so buy every t-shirt for sale and wear them at once.

Listen up:

By Jay Sharpe