Alt-Americana duo Cliffs + Caves are a family endeavour – proven in their newest release, Lost The Trail. The mother-daughter duo from Texas (Lindsey and Claire Justice) utilize folk-inspired rhythms and emotional lyrics to highlight sentiments of love, heartbreak, struggle, and perseverance, among others. Lost The Trail boasts six tracks that work together to reinforce that no one is alone in the complexities of life – and sometimes, all we can do is smile in acceptance until we find the way back to our trail.

Also telling the tale of how Lindsey and Claire have evolved in their mother-daughter relationship as Claire enters young adulthood, the new EP reinforces the idea that family is at the center of everything they do. Read on to discover how they enlisted the help of Blake – Lindsey’s son and Claire’s younger brother – for the creation of the cover art of the album in our newest installment of UnCovered.

For more info on the band, visit their website here:

How did the artwork’s image and/or concept come to you?

Lindsey Justice: “Claire’s brother, Blake, came home with his senior art project from school as we were wrapping up production of our new EP, and the moment we both saw it, we said, “THAT is our album cover!”

Please help us understand what you are trying to convey with the cover’s imagery.

“Blake’s black-out reverse etching of a red panda playing the banjo was perfect because we had already decided the album title would be Lost the Trail (lyrics from a bridge in one of our new songs, “The Coop”). That panda perfectly encompasses the feeling of those lyrics- and the song even has a banjo. I have a bachelor of fine arts, and I took Intaglio for many semesters in college, so I know how difficult it is to reverse an image through etching – so, I was super impressed with this piece of work.

“The whimsy of this adorable red panda standing and playing banjo is such a fun, happy image- and this record, we set out to make happy music for road trips and campfires. It truly fits our intentions with this music. Claire and I being a mother/daughter duo, also love that it incorporates the gifts of my son.”

"Lost The Trail" Cover Art by Cliffs + Caves
“Lost The Trail” Cover Art by Cliffs + Caves

Are there any symbols or stories hidden in the artwork?

“Yes, there is a hidden image in the bottom right of an upside-down hat with coins in it where people have tipped the busking banjo playing red panda.”

What are some of your favourite album covers of all time?

“We love album art- the Rayland Baxter cover for “If I Were A Butterfly,” and Spoon‘s “Hot Thoughts” single art are favorites. Oh, and the beautifully painted cover of Abraham Alexander‘s latest SEA/SONS is stunning.”

Cliffs + Caves
Cliffs + Caves

Where would you be most excited to see your album artwork postered or displayed?

“We would love to see that album cover being promoted at Red Rocks, our favorite venue for seeing live shows and where we hope to play someday.”

How do you think the album art will affect the listener’s perception of the album?

“We hope our Lost the Trail cover art of the red panda playing banjo makes people smile when they listen to our songs. Life can be so hard sometimes, and so complicated and crushing, so that really is our hope for our new music- to have a moment in the day when someone can smile driving down the road or walking in the park- a little something to help lift their spirit.”