Standout Track: No. 4, “Nazarene,” from Faults, the debut EP by D.C. duo Cavale. Petworth singer Meg Walsh, 25, and Mount Pleasant instrumentalist Jeffrey Prosser, 46, combine to make generations-spanning electronic torch songs that can sound like early Depeche Mode, industrial music, Portishead, and Burial within the span of a single tune. “That Meg and I have a 20-year age difference has revealed itself to be a blessing,” Prosser says. “I can play Meg music by Ike Yard or Section 25 and she hears it without all of the historical baggage that it carries for me.”
Musical Motivation: Despite Prosser’s affection for Factory Records, the origins of the duo’s sound has local roots. “Cavale was born out of a conversation about covering Patsy Cline songs using bone-rattling sub bass and percussion,” Prosser says, invoking Winchester, Va.’s favorite singer. But Cavale’s direction evolved quickly from that template. “I think we’ve always tried to keep it kind of grimy and aggressive,” Walsh says. “There’s not enough aggression in electronic music lately and there’s no such thing as too much percussion.”
Time Benders: Despite being based in electronic music, Cavale’s work has a natural quality because Walsh’s bluesy vocals don’t just sit in the pocket. “I have a tendency to syncopate my vocal delivery, which I guess I slip in and out of organically,” Walsh says. “I’m not trying to tell a story with words; I’m trying to create atmosphere with melody and beat. I like the idea of a type of frenetic repetition … particularly in ‘Nazarene.’”
Listen to “Nazarene” below.
Photo by Yara Mowafy