Kentucky imports 

CABIN’s second CD a hit

Indianapolis has been blessed with many quality musical acts in the city and around the state. Some fine bands have also been imported from outside Indiana. CABIN, the Louisville, Ky., quartet, is one such example, making frequent visits to the city promoting their new album, I Was Here.

The five songs comprising I Was Here pack enough power to put many greatest hits compilations to shame. It’s an amazing feat, considering the EP is only the band’s second album. The songs are both sincere and flat out rock ’n’ roll fun, starting with the opening title track, where lead vocalist and guitarist Noah Hewlet-Ball sounds like a wiseman offering gifts of wisdom as he sings, “Keep focus, stay on track / straight ahead and don’t look back / nothing to see here but distractions.” Immediately following, his voice grows wistful and melancholic, but never melodramatic, as he becomes a teenager at a high school dance on “Dance with Me.”

While Hewlet-Ball’s vocals are part of the allure of CABIN, they’re hardly the whole show. The other members are just as integral to the band’s sound. On the beautiful “Cover Your Eyes” — the album’s finest track — Sarah Welder’s violin underscores the delicate piano that drives the song, creating a haunting, ethereal atmosphere. She introduces “Musical Seats” with skitterish violin that would make Andrew Bird proud, and also delivers confident backing vocals. Towards the end, bassist Billy Lease and drummer Dave Chale help the song erupt into a full blown rock anthem with the potential to fill arenas.

And that’s what I Was Here does best: It offers a glimpse of the potential future the four musicians have. When listening to their new EP, it’s not hard to fathom CABIN on a stage in a sold-out Conseco Fieldhouse, or any other arena in the nation. If they keep delivering songs of this quality, the small local clubs will no longer be able to harness the band. Indianapolis should be happy to borrow CABIN as often as it does. It might not be too long before we have to share them with more than the Midwest.

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