Oceans flow through the center of Cinder Well’s music. Cadence, the new album from Amelia Baker’s experimental folk project, drifts between two far-flung seas: the hazy California coast where she grew up, and the wind-torn swells of Western Ireland that she’s come to love. After the release of 2020’s acclaimed No Summer, Baker returned to her hometown in central California to record at Harlan Steinberger’s nearby Hen House Studios in Venice Beach.
Inspired by this new setting, Baker expanded Cinder Well’s sound to include percussion, provided by her old friend Phillip Rogers (Haley Heynderickx), as well as trance electric guitar and expansive string parts courtesy of Cormac MacDiarmada of Lankum. While there are still hints of the doom folk that Cinder Well is known for, Cadence balances heavy lyrics with a more expansive sound that nods to LA’s mythical Laurel Canyon years.
Across nine epic tracks, Baker treads a sonic and lyrical path between the two coastal towns she calls home. Fittingly, Baker opens Cadence with a song about selkies—seals that turn human on land.
More than just a bit of folklore, shapeshifting selkies are a metaphor for Baker herself: a songwriter tied to the ebb and flow of the ocean (and humanity’s) currents, whether they be half a world away or a few steps from home.
Cinder Well’s new album, Cadence, Coming April 21 on Free Dirt Records