Mare’s Tails – Cavil (CD) – £8.99 + P&P
Mare’s Tails – Cavil (Vinyl LP) – £10.99 + P&P
- These Things
- Plastic Bag (That’s My Flag)
- Clumsy Hands
- When I Think of You
- Why Say Anything?
- Cold Heaven
- Pennine Town
- Certain Friend
- Piranha Canal
- Small Moments
“Lo-fi and melancholically introspective it may be, yet there’s a Northern stoicism to the delivery that suggests this isn’t idle self absorption but a harbinger of shit to hit all our emotional fans. It’s a neat trick that only a Frenchman or Yorkshireman can really pull off (sorry Morrisey – wrong side of the Pennines) – upbeat moribundity you can whistle along to.” ***
– Oz Hardwick, R2 Rock’n’Reel
“Gareth Cavil’s second album is one which is hard not to fall in love with. Right from the onset the Leeds based musician grabs your attention and delves deep into your heart, refusing to let go until your soul has been thoroughly searched. Soft, velvety northern vocals gently wrap themselves around what seems to be the most trivial of subjects including plastic bags, washing machines, cups of tea and clumsy hands, breathing into them a whole new life and colour with nothing more than a few carefully placed chords, the odd glockenspiel and a wavering bass.
It’s the albums simplicity which provides its magic, Cavil fully understands the mantra ‘less is more’ offering the listener a snapshot into the presence of the south-westerly prevailing winds in songs such as Pennine Town; resulting in a calm and contented collection of gentle folksy lullabies in the best possible taste.”
—Charlotte Otter, Music Week
“Like the clouds after which it’s named, Gareth Cavill’s second album hints at unsettled weather ahead. As he traces wistful acoustic patterns over gentle waltzes, his voice delivers memorable lines like “your beautiful mouth is filled with terrible teeth”, while spoken-word closer “Small Moments” praises the simple pleasures of solitude. Those nostalgic for Sarah Records will also revel in “Cold Heaven’s” sparkling crescendo and, especially, “These Things”, whose brushed drums and echoing guitars sound like an English Pennines take on East River Pipe’s intimate sadness.”
—Wyndham Wallace, Uncut
“‘Northern Englishness’ — that’s the quality I’ve been turning over in my head over the last few weeks. It’s something that Hood, John Shuttleworth, Jake Thackray and Pulp have — and this album has it in spades. The trouble is it’s difficult to define, it’s unmistakable yet unfathomable. Whatever it is, there’s an old-fashioned honesty in these songs and their delivery: love, nature and truth conveyed by an acoustic guitar, a piano and a voice.”
—Richard O’Brien, Vespertine & Son
“This is an understated gem of an album when given a second chance. Your patience will be rewarded if you give Cavil time to settle in with you. My suggestion is to try putting your feet up, getting nice and comfy (with a cup of tea at your elbow, perhaps) before pressing the play button. I do hope everyone out there will do just that, because everyone will then have a very nice time listening to this delightful album.”
– Leicester Bangs
“The title of Cavil’s album refers to a kind of high-flying cloud, light but heralding storms — appropriately named enough for a collection of songs that hints at darker feelings while keeping a gentle exterior. Drawing on a variety of sonic sources — soft solo folk performers, calmer ’80s-and-after post-punk guitar textures — at times there’s a sudden bite to the arrangements that gets the attention. Often it’s down to the percussion — the way the brushed drums almost sit in the ear on “These Things” offsets the calmer sounds in the mix. Other times it can simply be the sense of what sits back further in volume — what sounds almost like haunted bird calls on “Plastic Bag (That’s My Flag),” on another song soft chimes and a nervous, looming arc of feedback. Meanwhile, the lyrical vision of “Pennine Town,” a portrait of a tangle of emotions and memories while looking out over the titular site, isn’t dark per se but emphasizes a sense of questioning and non-resolution, at once beautiful and unsettled. In general, Mares’ Tails aims for the gently reflective, and if the album as a whole veers a bit toward the one-note (less due to the arrangements than the general feeling and pace), individually the numbers “Cold Heaven” and “When I Think of You” (not a Janet Jackson cover, but that would be a hell of an idea) are calmly performed and sung. When everything strips down to vocals and guitar on “Piranha Canal,” one gets the sense of the core strength of Cavil, but it makes the additions and twists throughout Mares’ Tails that much more of an engaging listen.”
– Ned Raggett, AllMusic.com
Cavil is the musical project of Gareth Cavill, songwriter from Leeds. Mares’s Tales is his second album. Released in June 2010 by US Label Radio Khartoum, it’s now available in the UK through Folkwit Records.
Lullabies of everyday betrayal and yearning after migratory geese, airborne plastic bags, aeroplanes, train whistles, and other phantoms of freedom. From the dark, wet pavement of a Pennine town to the waltz-infested waters of “Piranha Canal”, these folk nocturnes from Northern England will sit nicely next to your Tindersticks and Montgolfier Brothers records.