Space Cubs: The Fire and Things Forgotten

mood music for smoked out dungeons in the crackiest parts of your city
By    May 1, 2015

Chris Daly puts out the fiya-fa-fiyas, man

Certain music is best played in dark, dimly lit places, with an entranced audience that might not be raising the roof, but certainly is swaying and riding the same vibe as the artist. Such are the sounds of Suzanne Bonifacio, the multi-instrumentalist also known as Space Cubs. The Buffalo native recently picked up a parasite while hiking the Appalachian Trail, began to reflect on her life and created the brooding work The Fire and Things Forgotten, out on Unspeakable Records May 12. What can you do, inspiration comes from the damnedest places, I suppose.

Recorded by her lonesome for three months in the Pisgah national Forest during the fall and winter of 2014-15, with some additional time spent gathering sounds in Charlotte, North Carolina, the album clearly expresses a sense of solitude. But don’t be mistaken into thinking this is a depressing affair.


Bonifacio’s music, while foreboding and shadowy, still conveys an underlying sense of hopefulness. The sound itself falls somewhere between early Massive Attack and BANKS, a kind of post trip-hop informed by the beat scene. Opener and incidental first single, “The Eye,” sets the stage, with echoing vocals, taught drums reminiscent of Dasha Rush and a downright otherworldly feel. Follow-up “One of Two Ways” becomes somehow more ominous still, before “A Tired Sky” effectively lifts the mood enough to keep things interesting.

“It’s A Constant” may be my favorite track, and it seems to be the one most likely to be heard in your favorite underground DJ’s next set at that club only the cool kids know about. While SC provides haunting vocals on most tracks, she demonstrates her purely instrumental chops on “Under the End of the Bed,” a sparse, ghostly number that would feel at home alongside the work of Shigeto. Closer “Longings and Losses” probably is the most depressingly named track here, but still manages to end the album on a musically uplifting note.

For those of you familiar with Back to the Future II, you’re well aware that 2015 is the year the Cubs win it all. We’ll see how Chicago does as the season progresses, but Space Cubs is here to ensure the prediction comes true on some level.

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