Rumpus: Even without the essays, the book would have a resonant sense of cyclic time. Nonetheless, I was moved by Eiren’s piece about images in the mind forming a sort of mantra, in the sense that they remind us how we “existed once.” It’s like we’re now in art where we used to be in climate science. She writes, “I live in the time after the time when we had no idea that we’d ruined things for good.”

Fogelson: I love the way Eiren writes. She really thinks things deeply. The eulogizing-the-planet thing might be macabre and hard for people, there’s something very loving and beautiful in her presentation. She’s a musician, too.

The Rumpus

Hear Eiren on Chicago NPR station WBEZ’s Morning Shift speaking to Tony Sarabia about Slipping the Holdfast, songwriting, Earnest Shackleton, and her novel-in-progress.

WBEZ Morning Shift

Caffall’s sensibilities aren’t quite so precious; her latest effort, “Slipping the Holdfast,” doesn’t cater to lyricism immersed in time-stamped slang, nor is the instrumentation confined to an acoustic guitar. Instead, she employs electricity to great effect, echoing the Crazy Horse distortion tone akin to the late Jason Molina.

New City

Eiren Caffall is an amazing double threat as both a writer and a musician.

The Deli Chicago

Doug Fogelson’s The Time After may seem self-contradictory. It is a beautiful book that stares into the bleakest dark hole imaginable to humans, the destruction of our earth. It does so through a combination of Fogelson’s own photography – vivid, multilayered and prismatic panoramas exploring cycles of life in the worlds around us – and texts by three gifted writers – frightening, enlightening, and mournful, but never maudlin. As Eiren Caffall puts it in her eulogy to the planet, “We have done things to this place we love that we can never make right. We are losing what we knew, and the end, as it arrives, is beautiful and terrible.” The Time After helps us grasp our shared responsibilities and loss in a tragedy whose outcome is perhaps all too inevitable. Fogelson’s gorgeous photographs are especially effective, leading us from complex manmade congestion and chaos to the song of forests renewing themselves to the last word of the conscience-free power of nature – climate, tides, time, and day becoming night.

Palm Springs Art Museum

On Saturday we recorded an episode of Important Records at saki records. Three people talked about records they love and three artists played songs from those records. Seth Vanek and Eiren Caffall interpreted Songs: Ohia’s “Blue Moon Chicago” and if it was dark outside people would have cried.

Brightest Young Things

Singer-songwriter Caffall, who accompanies herself with only a lap steel guitar, does a remarkable thing for a solo artist these days – she forces people to listen by virtue of the quietness, delicacy and sheer poignant prettiness of her music. Her melancholy quasi-Appalachian songs might be said to suffer from a certain sameness, but then so do real Appalachian songs, and as with those, it’s important to stick around for the cumulative impact. Definitely one to watch.

Chicago Reader

Stark and melancholic…. Under the spotlight, her stories deserve the extra concentration.

Chicago Music

More successfully, a trio of short, winsome performances includes Robin Cline’s Red Circle Prayers a campfire /road trip story about coal mining and musical inevitabilities that would be very much at home on This American Life thanks to Eiren Caffall’s sadly lyrical accompaniment on lap steel guitar. Even a glimpse as the northbound Red Line train passing by overhead seems romantic in this setting.

Chicago Tribune

Mary Houlihan in the Chicago Sun-Times writes about the annual live version of Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas show at The Hideout.

Chicago Sun-Times