After an 18-year absence, Cardinal has finally returned with Hymns (Fire), its sophomore album. To rabid fans of the bi-coastal duo who’d all but given up hope of ever hearing a sequel to their masterful self-titled 1994 debut, that freshman year must have seemed interminable. When its first longplayer appeared on an indie-rock scene buzzing with grunge and punk, it was such a breath of fresh air, some people became giddy from lack of oxygen. To those without a sense of history, it was as though Richard Davies and Eric Matthews had discovered something that had never been done before. Harpsichords and baroque trumpets on a pop album? Preposterous! We love it. No one knows better than Davies and Matthews, themselves, both men with a sense of perspective, that you only have to dig out your copy of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour album to hear “Penny Lane,” awash in baroque trumpet. Or listen to the two LPs by the Left Banke, a mid-’60s combo that hit it big with “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina,” for a hit of string quartets and harpsichords. Not to say that Matthews and Davies didn’t create something perfectly wonderful, both then and now. The duo will also be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Q&A with them.
Matthews: Quinoa, sweet potatoes, brown rice, barley, beans from around the world, blueberries, red meat, white meat, salmon, tuna, egg whites, Greek yogurt, olive oil, turkey burgers in a proposed man-made Sunset, and the red, red wine that makes it all go down so nicely. It’s all good (as the brainwashed kids say). Stop beating crap out of my language! And, Babbabooey to you all.
Video after the jump.