File under: rad people doing rad things together.
I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m a major fanboy for just about anything that prolific Michigan-based multi-instrumentalist Meghan Wood does. Whether it’s her main solo project Crown of Asteria or her collaborations with Sun Through Eyelids and Enon Chapel (among other) – whether she’s doing black metal, dark folk, ambient, or some combination of the three – the odds are pretty good that it’s going to be fucking incredible.
Have you ever noticed, though, how it seems like most musicians have that one ideal collaborator? A creative partner who helps elevate their work to a completely different level? For Wood, that’s UK-born poet, blogger, and publisher Katie Metcalfe. Their first combined effort was 2017’s Arctic Fever, a spoken word/dark ambient album that paired Wood’s soundscapes with Metcalfe’s poems about the devastation wrought by the thawing of the Arctic. It’s a deeply affecting work, both because of the power of Metcalfe’s words and how perfectly Wood’s ambient textures frame them.
I had hoped that Arctic Fever wouldn’t be the only time the two collaborated, so imagine my elation when Metcalfe posted a demo for a song called “Cave Mouth” on her Bandcamp page in early March, a hauntingly beautiful track which included music by Wood. A second song called “Black Dog” followed shortly thereafter, and then they made it official: a new project called Cave Mouth, and a full-length at some point later this year
“I Woke Up Wolf” is the fourth song the duo has released since officially christening themselves Cave Mouth, and their magicks are as strong as ever. In some ways, it makes for an interesting contrast with their previous single, “A Hex on Your Head.” On that song, Metcalfe warns “They always say you should never/fuck with a witch,” while Wood’s driving-yet-minimalist accompaniment almost makes me feel bad for the poor sod who needed to be reminded that “You should have kept your tongue in your mouth/tongue in your mouth.”
On “I Woke Up Wolf,” the anger of “A Hex on Your Head” has given way to a sort of wavering uncertainty that makes Metcalfe’s lyrics seem more yearning than defiant. She had this to say about the song:
The lyrics for “I Woke Up Wolf” were inspired by the intrigue I possess with regard to shapeshifting. I often think about what it would be like to wake up in another life, as another species. Most often, I think about what it would be like to wake up as a wolf. I’ve written about shapeshifting in my poetry, but this is the first time I’ve crafted lyrics about shapeshifting. Meghan, who created the music, describes the song as a ‘Shamanistic dream sequence,’ and I couldn’t agree more.
Give “I Woke Up Wolf” a listen below, and then head over to Cave Mouth’s Bandcamp and check out their previous singles. No word yet on a tentative release date for their full-length, but I cannot wait to hear more of their incredibly special alchemy.
“I Woke Up Wolf”
I woke up wolf
not woman, wolf,
canis lupus, vuk, vik,
ulv, susi, varg
I woke up mottled grey fur
I woke up dirty
I woke up sharp teeth
I woke up heavy head
I woke up moon
inside my heart
I woke howling
I woke up
I woke up wolf