Recently I chatted with husband and wife duo from The Cush. Burette and Gabrielle Douglas fluidly alternated while recounting their history. Beneath the individuals as well as the music there is inherent patience, no point is forced or over-articulated. On record, songs organically unfold as though ordered by crystalline imperatives. Throughout their run, The Cush have been able to sustain this patient, thoughtful approach, as Gabrielle explains the mode of releasing three records in the eleven years, “We thought it was important to go out, experience life and come back and create.” And they did, leaving Texas for Vermont a few years back, Burette adds, “we were wanting something fresh,” and the transition proved vital to their progression.
After spending most of the 90s with area band Buck Jones, it was reasonable for them to seek a new creative environment.” Moving up to the more tightly packed North East, the group established dual citizenship. They have worked with great musicians in both areas, allowing them to carve out a place for themselves amongst the music scenes in places like Brooklyn, Baltimore and Pittsburgh. The time they put in is evident in performance as well as on record, and the songs connect with folks, imbued by genuine craft, Burette says, “Not much phases us, its all about making good records. With each new project, we take a sonic step forward.”
Those records have garnered them attention throughout the States and abroad as well, allowing them to tour Europe, performing in places like Berlin and Stockholm, “They take care of artists over there,” Gabrielle adds, looking forward to their next visit. In addition to tours, there have been festivals, a couple of years ago they were part of The Black Angels’ killer Psych Fest that also included Pink Mountaintops, Warpaint, Silver Apples and The Raveonettes.
The Cush makes smartly mixed albums, marvelously presenting an elegantly strange beauty that unveils itself without fail. Starting with 2001’s self-titled record, they have continued to create noise pop with a solid psychedelic undercurrent. Littered with unexpected sounds, perfect sonic moments recall slowcore favorites Bedhead, American Analog Set or Knife in the Water. Tunes that drift along on the clouds of a changed time, the listener falls into the spaces between notes – a hint of lo-fi, soft touch, drone, the kind that slows your breathing. The steadiness of a track like “Precious Time,” entrances as the melody capers out into infinity. Or “I shout love into the atom,” which comes on with a machine’s intensity, fluttering out on wings of vibrating tones.
Returning home, this last year has been a tough one, seeing Burette through recovery from a broken hip. For a while, he was chair-bound for playing and stuck on the crutches to get around. He tells me that the screws will come out soon. They are laying down scratch tracks for the next record and look forward to hearing more of the great music coming out of Fort Worth, as Gabrielle points out, “Almost every show we play with local bands has blown my mind. Its very genuine around here, people are doing what they love to do.”