Caethua – “Red Moon” – [Bathetic]
Caethua aka Clay Camero aka Clare Hubbard delivers
a one-woman record that has that kind of palm reader
vibe, you get a little dizzy and its a little smoky
inside her cozy parlor. She accrues effect pedals
like she does monickers (the more the merry messier!)
She sings in a heavy, water-color voice, often doubled
up like on “Raven’s Road” and “Chariot” where the lyrics
are hard to pin down. But when they cut through they are
like skimming through someone’s diary where life is lived
in metaphor and near water. The album beings with
a guitar instrumental, dappled with other sounds.
She also employs keys that sound like they have hollow
tubes. She will add guitar that is slippery and at
times like on “Waning Moon” actually playe with a slide.
(That song has Caethua singing with a kind of bite
like Jean Smith, her music fits in well with KFJC’s
favorite female conjurers and even struck a chord with
the old Mauve Sideshow). The production is dense but
gauzey, could see the Shadow Ring casting a spell on
her or vice versa. The songs are slow, her thoughts
rushing fast. The drum machine as the carburetor for
“Chariot” sounds like she filled it with molasses.
Sweet and slow and swampy (belieing her recording
residence in Maine) an enjoyable set of spectral ballads
on Bathetic. She also has a label herself, “Sad Wand”
but the .com looks like a manga stop…course this album
has the A/B etching labels swapped, so tricks are up
her and her many aliases sleeve. Is Caethua an anagram
of Chateau, or the female version of Cthulu? Clare’s an
unclear riddle, I don’t want to solve. Very promising stuff.