THIS'S ALL BACKSTORY: Eva Saelens was in Alarmist, singing rowdy punk rock with James Squeaky (Argumentix), Nick Bindeman (Eternal Tapestry), and Eric Crespo (Ghost to Falco). She toured with Gang Wizard, did some quiet nature walkin' with Malibu Falcon, and collaborated with Yellow Swans and Jackie-O Motherfucker. Inca Ore, then, is Eva solo. It started in Oakland, where she recorded Brute Nature Versus Wild Magic. Two years later, the new Inca Ore, The Birds in the Bushes, is set to come out August 22 on the 5RC label. Partially recorded in an Oregon coast cabin with collaborator Lemon Bear, you can feel the room working as much as any instrument. The walls echo vocals back, percussion clatters and taps on what sounds like pots and pans, bass noise rumbles and bounces around the floors. It's witchy free-noise—folk taken apart then put back together with spooky, creaking water-damage. There are loose, stoned acoustic strums, pagan freak-outs that sound like the trees are full of frogs playing drums on the branches with bird bones. Vocals gasp from the void, jaw harp ploinks over conjuring séance whispers; the record is a journey of dark, rainy peaks and mellow, green valleys.
Above all, though, I want to tell you about the third track, "Blue Train." This is the one I listen to on repeat until it becomes one long magic jam. There's a foundational bed of acoustic guitar and a guy's muttering low-talk vocals, but Eva's talk-singing takes the main stage. As the song rolls to its middle point, Eva's vocals are about swans over Nova Scotia and breaking laws, while a Navajo flute breathes and the song moves forward, but so slowly; it just crawls along the riverbed like a big ol' lizard with no set schedule or destination. At number three in this beautiful 11-part collage, it's the calm before some seriously stormy doom. But for now it's just the calm. I feel like I could fall down in it and float around a while.