Temperate Lands is Paco Cathcart’s 16th release as The Cradle since the genesis of the project almost two years ago. The work represents the continuation of Cathcart’s attempts, beginning with last June’s Drink the Water (Feeding Tube Records), to integrate the project’s core methodology of recording-as-compositional-process into a more traditional songwriting approach and a comparatively cleaner, higher-definition sonic landscape. The idiosyncratically syncretic nature of the music should feel familiar to those already acquainted with Cathcart’s weirder work, such as the long-form, improvisation-heavy pieces from The Handwriting Series or Basketball is Beautiful, while more casual listeners may appreciate how his reliance on premeditation and familiar compositional forms for Temperate Lands has yielded an album that is less relentlessly experimental, but perhaps ultimately more poetic. At least you can hear the words in this one.
The album is rounded out by the contributions of local musicians Ani Ivry-Block (of Palberta) on accordion and vocals and Sammy Weissberg (of The Gradients) on upright bass. Other projects Paco is involved in includes his other band, Big Neck Police, as well as engineering and mixing for bands Palberta, Dog, The Sediment Club, The Gradients and more.