Thursday, July 21, 2016
I was first introduced to Cavez (pronounced Caves) the project of Australian based singer/songwriter Bryce Hutchings through Jacob Borg of Jinja Safari's solo project Berlin Bar Hounds back in November of 2014 with a simple appeal to listen to his demo for a song "Idealistic Desire" and promises that the man's voice was amazing. He wasn't wrong. I was instantly taken with the track and the only thing that really kept me from writing about it was the fact that I remained largely unable to host it here. But I was gobsmacked nonetheless and even reached out to Hutchings to see if there were plans to release more than single, stunning demo. Hutchings promised more to follow and fast forward to today where Hutchings has let free "Famili'ar", his second demo.
From "Idealistic Desire" which easily recalls the sparse beauty of Bon Iver circa For Emma, Forever Ago, Hutchings' pretty much offers up all we need to know. His lyric sprawl is slow and deliberate, his vocals aching and effective in their rawness, and his fingerstyle guitar work understated but nimble.
While "Familiar" arrives with a similar bare bones approach, it's notably warmer both in sound and delivery. "Familiar" ends up being more of a vocal showcase for Hutchings instead of an overtly lyrical one. While not rushing headlong into pop conventions, "Familiar" features much more animated performance and swifter build than the glacial pacing of "Idealistic Desire".
It's not much but the combination of "Idealistic Desire" and "Familiar" highlight Bryce Hutchings' versatility as both a songwriter and performer. They may just be demos but they're absolutely enthralling in simplicity and approach. No one but Hutchings can quite say what they'll end up sounding like ultimately but they manage to be more engaging than some many layered works from other artists. Hutchings displays a wealth of talent in these two demos and my hope is either that he doesn't wait to long to offer up another or that he takes a similar plunge as his friend Jacob Borg and begins working on and releasing music in earnest. No one can say but until we know more about Hutchings' Cavez project we do at least have these two stellar demos which showcase a beguiling singer/songwriter with an incredible vocal presence.
You can listen to "Idealistic Desire" here.