Cathedral Bells, a four-man group based in Florida, left a mighty mark on DC’s music scene last December. With a signature sound that combines grunge, shoegaze, and dream pop, the group is beginning to create a cult following amongst many of America’s young adults.
Following the 2021 release of Ether, Cathedral Bells’ sophomore album, the group announced their first tour, travelling around the continental United States. Visiting small and intimate venues, they came to Washington DC’s Pie Shop on December 2nd. The women-owned Pie Shop was a perfect place for Cathedral Bells: the downstairs was a pie shop by day; by night, the upstairs was a bar and local music venue.
Due to miscommunications on dates and incorrect bookings, the audience at Pie Shop was small. While Cathedral Bells were supposed to be playing DC on December 3rd, they were accidentally double-booked for the night in New York, and drove down to DC during the day. Further, the original opener, a duo titled Uruguay, had a last-minute emergency, leaving the new opener with less than 3 hours notice. After delay and additional preparations, the show finally began.
But despite the mishaps, Cathedral Bells’ music sounds like those memories you always want to recall– vague but sharp; hazy yet distinctive; a range of emotions yet monotone. Their live performance was incredibly impressive, with the vocals and instruments sounding exactly like their recordings. Each song easily transitioned into the next, small comments were exchanged, and some fans danced freely to the energy.
As the night came to a close, I was waiting for the song that introduced me to Cathedral Bells. The group’s breakout single, “Dayflower”, which achieved over a million streams on Spotify, was the last song of the night. My personal pick from the band’s discography, the song was a perfect way to end the night. With the final song played, the performance then transitioned into small conversations with the group and a slow return to campus.
Unlike so many current acts in the music sphere, Cathedral Bells is a group that effortlessly combines an intense love for performance with a nonchalant attitude. Watching them perform was something akin to wanting to cheer them on and claim you discovered them before they became big. Through and through, everything about the concert seemed quintessentially genuine. From the huge poster of The Clash hanging above the stairway to the eclectic mix of individuals present, the entire experience felt something like a scenic secret.
Cathedral Bells may be a newer project, but the members are far from novices. Both the noticeable past influences on the group’s music and the future potential to expand their discography and fanbase make Cathedral Bells incredibly interesting to watch. As 2022 begins, the group is one of my current favorite acts, and one I strongly recommend to those looking for new and authentic performers this year.
Watch the group’s socials for an exciting announcement coming soon, and listen to their music here.