Anyone who's heard a live performance by Jackson Cavalier knows that iconic, riotous sound: the booming, makeshift suitcase-kick drum contraption; the unwieldy and battered acoustic guitar that riffs on blues and alt-folk themes; and Cavalier's distinct howls and bellows that shape word for every introspective word. Recently released, "Spellbound" takes Cavalier's signature sound and pushes it to new, unexplored territories.
With a more polished and poppy take on songwriting, and well-developed, full-band segues between strongly written prose, this is an enlivening departure from his previous work. The twelve songs on "Spellbound" bop and groove. From sagas played in minor keys about far-off lovers to devil-may-care, grim reaper rippers, Cavalier's wails turn to whispers on a dime. Cavalier is an all-or-nothing kind of musician, and "Spellbound" is sonic proof of his dynamic range.