Painted Caves

Painted Caves
Painted Caves album cover
Painted Caves at Turner Hall, Milwaukee
Painted Caves at Amarrass Music Festival 2014
Painted Caves at Milwaukee Art Museum, 2015


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Painted Caves 'Painted Caves (2015, Amarrass Records)
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  • country:USA
  • region:North Africa
  • style(s):Global Fusion, Psychedelic
  • label:Amarrass Records
  • type:Band
  • instrumentation:instrumental, vocal, percussion, string, woodwind, brass, rock band, unplugged, guitar, harp
  • artist submitted by:Amarrass Records

Line up

  • Ali Lubbad (guitar, vocals)
  • Holly Haebig (vocals, flute)
  • Matthew Wilson (bass)
  • Mike Kashou (oud, trumpet, percussion)
  • Noel Chandek (drums)


'Painted Caves' // Middle Eastern-influenced psychedelic groove rock (US/Palestine)

"Painted Caves were a highlight of the Orton Park Festival in 2016. Their unique, mystical sound seamlessly incorporates so many musical subgenres was perfect for our festival! The audience just loved them!" - Dan Hobson, Artist Programming/Orton Park Festival, Madison Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Painted Caves have earned a reputation for their highly original, Arab-American music and mesmerizing live performances. Built on a foundation of Western experimentation and Middle-Eastern tradition, the group uses traditional folk and jazz instruments (oud, daf, trumpet, flute) as a base and focal point against a backdrop of hypnotic rhythm (guitar, bass, percussion) and dreamy, uplifting songwriting.

Seamlessly melding shoegaze distortion with delicate microtones and vocal harmonies, their music transports the listener from the sands of the North African desert to the sunny beaches of Baja California and the great Ocean beyond, with infectious grooves and lyrical hooks keeping company on a musical journey that is inspiring, reflective, and celebratory.

They have made frequent appearances at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Chill on the Hill, and at Madison's La Fete de Marquette '13, the Lake Moon Festival '14, and Summer Soulstice Festival '14. The group made their international debut at the Amarrass Music Festival in New Delhi, India in Nov 2014 and played select dates around the Midwest in Summer/Fall 2015 including Summerfest, River Rhythms Milwaukee, Chill on the Hill and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. They were a featured act at Milwaukee Psych Fest (May 2016), at the 51st Orton Park Festival in Madison in August 2016.

The band's self-titled debut release (released March 31st 2015 on Amarrass Records) has been a fixture on college radio stations in the US and was on the CMJ Charts in summer 2015, with radio plays on BBC, PRI, WBEZ, and many more.

The band embarks on its European debut in March-April 2017, with stops in Belgium (Antwerp on 28 MAR), Denmark and more to be announced soon!

Global Village Top 40 Albums For May 2015 - Chris Heim, KMUW89.1 Wichita NPR, May 2015

"Painted Caves is a true genre bending gem" - David Savage, host of Unfiltered Camels on KZSC Santa Cruz 88.1FM, April 2015

"Dreamy yet with a rock sensibility, the songs are elegantly composed psychedelia rooted in Lubbad and Kashou’s Near Eastern heritage. The reverberant jangle of a Silvertone electric guitar harmonizes with the eerie twang of the oud as drumsticks meld with hand-slapped percussion. Minor keys set the tone for music that suggests an altered reality in a beautiful Kasbah of the mind." -, Feb 3, 2015

“Milwaukee band Painted Caves play Middle Eastern-influenced psychedelic grooves that more or less follow the Silk Road in reverse, back toward India. ..It’s safe to say that there is no group anywhere in the world who sound anything like them.” - New York Music Daily

"…an alchemical marriage of ’60s rock and age-old Arabic folk, producing an offspring entirely contemporary and ageless." - The Shepherd Express

“Palestinian Notes Emerge from Painted Caves" - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Arthouse Rock" - Indian Express (Dec 2014)

"Painted Caves may be one of the best bands in Brew City.. “Beautiful” is one word to describe Painted Caves, which fuses traditional Arabic music with rock, psychedelic and folk, making it one of the few truly unique bands" - Milwaukee Magazine (Mar 2013)

“Richly Hypnotic, Unique Middle Eastern Psychedelic Grooves from Painted Caves" - New York Music Daily"

"Painted Caves emerges as a great work of art!" - Inside World Music

"Infectious danceable pop" - Milwaukee Record