Cave Twins bring sweet harmonies
Despite what the press bio claims, David Mayfield and Abby Rose of Cave Twins are not identical twins separated at birth.
However, listening to their harmonies on the Cave Twins’ debut album, “Best Friends for Now,” they have that sweet, perfect blend that music fans associate with sibling acts like the Everly Brothers.
Before meeting at an open mic three years ago, Rose performed as a solo artist and was a member of Akron’s The Speedbumps.
Mayfield, a Newton Falls native who recently lived in Warren, got his start as a child playing in his parents country / bluegrass band One Way Rider. In addition to fronting the David Mayfield Parade, Mayfield has recorded and performed with such acts as the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons and the Black Keys, and appeared on “Late Night with David Letterman” and the Grand Ole Opry.
Mayfield invited Rose to sing on a record he was making, and it evolved into a more permanent partnership, one they originally envisioned as a band.
“We asked a couple other people (to join), but no one was was really as strong about it as we were, so we decided for it to just be the two of us,” Rose said.
The result is an intimate 13-track album that features Mayfield’s and Rose’s voices (and occasionally their whistling) accompanied by just guitar and mandolin. Comparisons to the lo-fi folk of Kimya Dawson / Moldy Peaches are unavoidable, but Mayfield’s mandolin give the songs some bluegrass and country flourishes that make the Cave Twins’ sound distinctive.
“I like doing everything, just the two of us recording, mixing and mastering,” she said. “It’s just more fun and less messy when there aren’t a lot of people involved.”
The album was recorded at Sweetside Recording Company, the studio they opened in Canton.
“It’s a really nice little magical spot that used to be a recording studio in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” Rose said. “We found it and refurbished it, kind of brought it back to life.”
The duo’s DIY approach to recording carries over to its videos. Cave Twins released a video for “Buddy I’ll Be There” that was created with footage shot on an iPhone while on tour last fall. Inspired by Richard Linklater’s film “Waking Life,” they used an app to transform it into a black-and-white animated clip (a link can be found at www.cavetwins.com).
“We wanted it to look just good enough that it’s interesting but on a budget,” Rose said.
Cave Twins will celebrate the release of “Best Friends for Now” with two CD release shows on Friday and Saturday at Akron’s Rialto Theatre (Friday’s show is sold out). The duo will spend the next six weeks on road with plans to play some festivals this summer and possibly tour out west in the fall.
If you go …
WHO: Cave Twins
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Rialto Theatre, 1000 Kenmore Blvd., Akron
HOW MUCH: Friday’s show is sold out. Tickets for Saturday are $14.