Cave Singers Sign to Jagjaguwar Records, Plot Third Album, and Prepare For Tour of China

Laura Musselman
After a pair of albums with New York City's Matador Records--2007's Invitation Songs and 2009's Welcome Joy--Seattle's indie-folk trio the Cave Singers, one of the few bands in town who can sell out The Showbox at the Market, have signed a multi-album deal with Bloomington, Indiana's Jagjaguwar Records, home to the likes of Black Mountain and Bon Iver. The relationship starts with a new album that the band plans to start recording as early as later this month, and in stores by late February or early March of 2011.

Jagjaguwar co-founder Darius Van Arman says he's been a fan of the band since before they signed to Matador. And when Cave Singers and Matador parted ways, the band approached his label.

"I don't know if we ever have a grand unified theory about what fits for Jag," Van Arman said in an interview. "It's really tough to be a independent band or musician that's mining some of the folk genre and do it in a way that's new and inventive and fresh (like Cave Singers do)."

Cave Singers guitarist Derek Fudesco says his friends in Jagjaguwar bands, like Black Mountain, have been positive about working with the label. And the fact they do a 50/50 revenue split after expenses--something very few labels offer--was appealing. He says the band plans to record their new album with local producer Randall Dunn, a guy who's made records that have run the spectrum from heavy hitters like Kinski to singer-songwriters like Jesse Sykes.

"Everything's more electrified on this record, and just louder," Fudesco says. "We wanted to work with someone who we felt could have a bit thicker production, and working with someone who does a lot of heavier records, (we thought) even our quieter songs would probably come off more like we play 'em live."

Fudesco says locals can expect plenty of new Cave Singers' songs at August 21's No Depression Festival at Marymoor Park, as can their fans in China, where the band will be playing eight shows in two weeks in September. "I can't even wrap my head around it yet," he says of the tour. Fudesco says the tour itinerary includes stops in Beijing, Shanghai, and "a little village near Chengdu."

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