The Tender Fruit, Des Ark, Gross Ghost
Cat's Cradle Back Room, Carrboro
Saturday, Nov. 22
It’s a late entry into the game, but The Tender Fruit’s The Darkness Comes
, released on Saturday, is a serious contender for one of 2014’s best albums. Backed with a full band, Christy Smith—the mastermind behind The Tender Fruit’s devastating words and captivating melodies
—commanded the stage at the Cat’s Cradle Back Room last week. Her ensemble included her partner Aharon Segal on drums, Collier Reeves on guitar and Nick Vandenburg on bass. James Phillips, the drummer for Bombadil and the producer of Darkness
, played keys. She pulled almost exclusively from Darkness
, making an exception for “Get Out of the Car,” from 2010’s Flotsam & Krill
, and opening track “Burning Houses,” which didn’t make Darkness
but which you can stream on Bandcamp
. Smith’s new songs sounded fully realized, delivered with no discernible hiccups. At the end of the show, Smith, Segal and Reeves convened at the front of the stage to deliver a stripped-down version of "Like a Stone," a song by Nola, one of Smith's earlier musical projects.
Duo-style incarnations of Gross Ghost and Des Ark graced the stage earlier in the evening, though Catherine Edgerton, formerly of Midtown Dickens, joined occasionally to add touches of percussion and singing saw to Des Ark. It was an evening of intensely personal songs delivered to a group of strangers; though the themes were often heavy, the general mood of the room was eager and supportive.
Check out video captured by Dan Schram below, including one gutwrenching new number from Des Ark titled “50 Shades of Shitbags.”
The Tender Fruit, "Long Lived"
The Tender Fruit, "Light Between Us"
The Tender Fruit, "Like a Stone"
Des Ark, "50 Shades of Shitbags"
Gross Ghost, "Howlin"