Originally a one-off project from singer/songwriters Richard Davies
and Eric Matthews
came together in 1994 following ex-Moles
' relocation from his native Australia to the U.S.; he wrote and sang all but one of the songs that comprised Cardinal
's self-titled debut, while Matthews
arranged the compositions, layering them with ornate strings, horns, and pianos inspired by the lush, baroque sounds of late-'60s pop. While Cardinal
was released to great acclaim, internal strife quickly split the duo apart, and both Davies
embarked on solo careers. An unlikely reunion in 2011 produced their sophomore follow-up, Hymns.