Making a debut album comprised of country covers is a bold move, but Caleb Dailey’s Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings: Beside You Then finds its strength in the restraint and emotional depth it mines from a collection of solemn cowboy hymns.
“If I Could Only Fly” finds Daily joined by The Notwist’s Markus Acher who brings a wistful intimacy to Blaze Foley’s masterpiece about aging, loss, and death. Ambient piano chords drift heavenward in the background beneath the gentle acoustic strums. Musically, there’s a resolute peacefulness amidst all of James Fella’s noise; a stoic rumination in the face of darkness growing on the horizon. Acher’s voice comes through just above a whisper, the fractures beginning to show while he delivers a perfect, memorable performance.
“Markus and I connected about four years ago after Moone Records released a tape of Tori Kudo,” Dailey explains when asked about how Acher got involved in the project. “Maybe a year and a half ago at this point, I started sharing these country covers I’d been working on with my friends. I ended up asking if he wanted to contribute to some of them, and was blown away when he said yes!”
It’s hard to express how heavy the impact of Acher’s delivery is, but it’s the glue that ties every element of “If I Could Only Fly” together. It came together serendipitously. “I initially thought this song was going to have no vocals and would be a drone-y instrumental,” Dailey says, “When I sent it to Markus for his contributions, in the back of my mind, I was like “Markus’ voice would sound incredible on this,’ but I didn’t want to push anyone in any direction. When I got a message from Markus saying that he was feeling drawn to sing on it, I remember actually tearing up. Then when he sent over his vocals, I was floored.” Hearing the end result, it couldn’t have happened any other way.
Listening as the noise wells up and overtakes everything before disappearing back into the piano lamentations, gives space for reflection and acceptance. It’s such a beautiful rendition. Warm Evenings, Pale Mornings: Beside You will be released on April 8 via Alien Transistor. Listen below and pre-order HERE.