I think it's time for an ETHEL CAIN thread

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I was a big fan of last year's Inbred EP, and especially its singles ("Crush" and "Michelle Pfeiffer"). The pre-release singles from her upcoming debut (out 5/12) are also really good. I love her sound and vibe, the combination of dream-pop reverb and anthemic instincts.

She has quite the backstory too (short version, she's a trans PK from backwoods Florida who grew up singing in church), and a dedicated troupe of online disciples, which makes her interesting but the music is the main selling point.


Here's "Crush" for anyone who missed it.


so glad you made the thread, tipsy -- EC has been Major for me since discovering the EP last year.

here's another video for a track off the EP called "God's Country" (which is my favorite of hers):

and here are a couple more singles off the upcoming full-length which is called <i>Preacher's Daughter</i>: the closing track "Strangers" and "Gibson Girl":

winters (josh), Monday, 2 May 2022 22:10 (two weeks ago) link

Yes, a discovery last year for me as well and agreed on all these points -- just wish the newer work was available on Bandcamp. "Michelle Pfeiffer" kinda melted my mind when I first heard it.


Ned Raggett, Monday, 2 May 2022 22:32 (two weeks ago) link

"michelle pfeiffer" is on another level from the rest of what i've heard from her, but she's definitely someone to keep an eye on.

I love "Michelle Pfeiffer," tho I could do without the Lil Aaron verse.

Bought tickets to see her in July, I'm betting she puts on a good show.

I was about to either start this thread or revive another vaguely appropriate one. I feel like she's getting better? Like, "Michelle Pfeiffer" and "Crush" are great, but the run this year - the "Everytime" cover, "Gibson Girl", "Strangers" and now "American Teenager" - is just like bam bam bam bam. Not necessarily stronger material per se, but it feels more confident, more connected to its own value, more embodied with a sense of the artist's distinct personality. Relatedly, I like that she is sharpening her commercial instincts, especially with "American Dream" which from the title on down is very calculated but in a way that totally works for me (the Journey-esque guitar solo is A+). Though I think "Strangers" is perhaps the best of them: I love how it's unclear whether the overtones of violence are metaphorical or literal - is she singing about a past obsessive relationship she has moved on from, or is she a ghost haunting the lover who murdered her?

Tim F, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 13:08 (two weeks ago) link

lol *"American Teenager"

Tim F, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 13:10 (two weeks ago) link

She deserves her own thread, of course, and assuming all trans rockers sound the same/are the same is dumb and limiting, but Mel Stone, who I've been following since an appearance on a podcast to talk about Velvet Goldmine some years back, is also a choice listen, and in ways there is a connection to Cain's work because they both find differing/distinct ways to make the hoary burnout dullness of whatever classic rock as such was sound better again. One of my favorites:


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 May 2022 15:58 (two weeks ago) link

Tour dates:

07/14/22 — Bloomington, IN — The Bishop

07/15/22 — Chicago, IL — Pitchfork Festival

07/18/22 — Detroit, MI — El Club

07/19/22 — Toronto, ON — Horseshoe

07/20/22 — Montreal, QC — Le Ritz PDB

07/22/22 — Boston, MA — Brighton Music Hall

07/23/22 — Philadelphia, PA — Johnny Brendas

07/24/22 — Washington, DC — Union Stage

07/27/22 — Richmond, VA — Richmond Music Hall

07/28/22 — Asheville, NC — The Grey Eagle

07/30/22 — Gainesville, FL — High Dive

07/31/22 — Tallahassee, FL — 926 Bar

08/5/22 — Denver, CO — Vortex Fest

08/20/22 — Seattle, WA — Neumos

08/21/22 — Vancouver, BC — Wise Hall

08/22/22 — Portland, OR — Mississippi Studios

08/2522 — San Francisco — The Independent

08/27/22 — Los Angeles, CA — This Ain’t No Picnic

08/28/22 — San Diego, CA — Humphrey’s (Here & There)

08/30/22 — Phoenix, AZ — Valley Bar

09/1/22 — Austin, TX — ACL Live @ Moody Theatre (Here & There)

09/2/22 — Dallas, TX — Ruins

09/6/22 — Atlanta, GA — The Earl

09/7/22 — Nashville, TN — Basement East

09/9/22 — NYC — Bowery Ballroom

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 16:57 (one week ago) link

NYT profile https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/11/arts/music/ethel-cain-preachers-daughter.html

At the same time, Cain has no manager and no interest in forcing a hit on TikTok or Spotify. The dreamy, longing songs on “Preacher’s Daughter” — largely written, recorded and produced alone in her bedroom — may be soaring in sound and intention, but they are deliberately slow, hazy and dense, often stretching past the six-minute mark before exploding into an out-of-fashion guitar solo or spooky instrumental passage.

Cain also insists on living in the middle of nowhere, the better to drive her truck around barefoot and hang out in empty fields and graveyards or under dilapidated bridges. Before rural Alabama, she rented an abandoned church in a random Indiana town of fewer than 2,000 people.

In her slight Southern lilt, Cain expressed nothing but shellshocked disdain for cities like New York and Los Angeles, where most in her enviable position end up.

Indexed, Wednesday, 11 May 2022 15:38 (one week ago) link

Disappointed to learn she's signed to Dr. Luke's company tbh

a superficial sheeb of intelligence (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 11 May 2022 15:50 (one week ago) link

Yeah that's not great.

Overall good article though.

I'm on my 2nd time thru the album, I like it. Some songs I love, some that are more about vibe than tune, but overall the ambition of the thing is pretty impressive. Several songs past 7 minutes, one past 9, less of a pop sensibility than last year's singles but a real sense of almost cinematic scope. It sounds gorgeous, of course.

Great guitar playing and production too. There are sections that sound like Crazy Horse, others that sound like metal.

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