The Finches

Human Like a House (Dulc-i-tone)

Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, the Finches' lead singer, has a perfect folk voice. It's a timeless, fragile warble that's country and urban, childlike and womanly, airy and earthy. On her band's debut full-length, Human Like a House, Riggs and bandmate Aaron Morgan contribute subtle chiming guitar lines to melodies that veer off in unexpected directions — a small circle of friends adding understated accents on bass, cello, recorder, pedal steel, and percussion. The songs unwind slowly here, sedate melodies that soothe you into a false sense of security, but under the placid surface are hints at ancient wounds that refuse to heal.

Details

The Finches perform on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at Café du Nord at 9 p.m. Admission is $8; call 861-5016 or visit www.cafedunord.com for more info.

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The impressionistic lyrics spin a moody web that pulls you into these beautiful, melancholic little gems. "Lay" is a dark country lament featuring a crying steel guitar; it's an ode to lost love that suggests suicide and unspeakable pain, while "Two Ghosts" is more enigmatic, a song about two souls longing for connection even as they drift further apart. When the tracks explore love's happier moments — skinny dipping at midnight in "Nightswimmings, AR" or meandering hand in hand around a lover's hometown in "O L A" — Riggs' bemused delivery brings an unrestrained yearning to the lyrics, a sense of foreboding that's at once despondent and enchanting. The mysterious ambiance on Human Like a House is complemented by the cryptic woodcut drawings Riggs created for the CD booklet, images that put a bittersweet icing on this perplexing little cake. — J. Poet

 
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