Ask The Night
Orenda Fink - Ask The Night
As a total music nut, I'm always recommending artists to my friends. I love turning somone on to a great band or singer that I love, and having them love it too. Of course the downside of being the biggest pop culture geek in your circle of friends is that the reverse is a lot rarer. Last year a friend tried to turn me on to Azure Ray. It was one of those matches that on paper I should have loved... female vocals with great harmonies and a slightly shoegazer vibe. But I found them to be really same-y, too electronic, and just hard to get into. After giving it a couple of listens in the car, I stuck the CDR she gave me in the glove box and forgot about it.
So given that I couldn't really gel with her old band, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Orenda Fink's second solo album, Ask The Night. It shares Azure Ray's sparse vibe, but has a much more organic feel. The trademark harmonies are still there (including a guest appearance by Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock), but the keyboards and electronic flourishes she has surrounded herself with in the past have been replaced by slide guitars, banjos, mandolins, and even a singing saw. The various styles combine to give the album as a whole a Southern Gothic folk feel. The lyrics veer toward a coffee house confessional vibe on occasion, but luckily she never travels too far down that path. Ask The Night is out today on Saddle Creek Records.
Orenda Fink - "High Ground" (mp3)