Melaena Cadiz‘ Rattle the Windows is an absolute gem of alt-country/folk that I’ve been sitting on for entirely too long. But now, as the weather turns more fully to spring, this album which talks of honeybees and dragonflies, walks in the night, and other vernal fare, is one that compels me to finally make amends and share its treasure with you. So, let’s talk…
Cadiz is a Kalamazoo, Michigan native who now calls Brooklyn her home. Even so, this album is wholly evocative of the American South – in both its musical traditions and its themes. This lively, earthy album conjures late-night dances on grandstands, afternoons out on the porch, and time spent thinking out among the fields and streams. It’s an album whose themes conjure the Americana of our imagination, bringing it forth with vivid detail. And as Slowcoustic rightly notes: “…not to beat the dead horse, this feels like a real album, that it comes from a songwriter telling tales, not a musician in a studio doing a thousand takes trying to sound authentic. You immerse in the album, search it out.”
Musically, this is an album with a wonderfully organic quality to it, as well as an open, yet intimate, atmosphere. Featuring traditional instruments – fiddle, guitar, banjo, etc. – as well as a number of other elements that lend a bit of atmosphere, this is an album with both an “authentic” feel and an otherworldly quality. All of this is anchored, of course, by Cadiz’ energetic, soulful vocal. Fans of musicians like Eliza Lynn, Gillian Welch, or Emmylou Harris will, I believe, find themselves right at home with this album.
Perhaps Rattle the Windows‘ greatest strength is that the songs feel as if they could have originated at any point in our collective American musical tradition – that is, they are simultaneously modern and antique. Old souls, perhaps. Whatever the case, it’s undeniable that this album is a remarkable achievement. One which, I believe, speaks of great things to come. Have a listen, below, and then go visit Melaena’s website.
Here’s “Clay Pigeons:”
And here’s “Sleeping:”
And here’s a video of “Oh Holy Night,” which, honestly, looks exactly how this album sounds. Enjoy!