Cautionary Tales – “No Funeral Blues”


The first single from Cautionary Tales‘ upcoming debut, “No Funeral Blues” is a haunting adaptation of the W.H. Auden poem of the same name. The art-rock outfit, based in Berlin via Aotearoa and NYC, wrote the track for a close friend who overdosed at the beginning of the pandemic.

An ominous spoken-word envelopment kickstarts this riveting take on Auden’s eulogy, expanding into a chilling synth-laden component alongside the murmuring guitar tones; there are shades of later-era Scott Walker and recent Nick Cave in its brooding, cavernous aesthetic. A thunderous rock edge emerges in the satiating final minutes. The project’s poetic grasp and atmospheric unfolding is evident on this success, which has us firmly anticipating Cautionary Tales’ upcoming debut album.

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of May 2023’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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