two sentence reviews of reasonably new albums i listened to in may, local edition

skylar gudasz & the ugly girls @ local 506

Short but sweet: three not-entirely-recent local releases I dug on in the last few weeks. All highly recommended.

Mount Moriah — self-titled: staggeringly lovely, painfully intimate, gorgeously detailed, and absolutely heartbreaking. The most straight-up beautiful album released in North Carolina so far this year.

Mandolin Orange — Quiet Little Room: I’ve seen Mandolin Orange a bunch of times, growing from a slightly awkward duo to a lovely, polished quartet, but I had never managed to pick up their album before Andrew gave me a copy last week. As they’ve grown on stage, I think they’ve outgrown this album, in some ways, because it is not as sharply sweet as their live show is now, behind Emily’s voice and Andrew’s playing, but it is lovely, in its own way, as a testament to where they’ve come from.

Skylar Gudasz & the Ugly Girls — Two Headed Monster: I described Skylar as having a bird-flight voice last week, and it’s very true; she’s capable of startling flights, but just as capable as growling out the lyrics to her strange and darkly pretty songs, which is what makes this debut more than ordinary. It has a more gothic side than the band does live — live, they come across fairly sunshiney-indie-pop — but the guitar work, which is eerie and high, and Skylar’s voice combine to make it something bigger than usual.

I talk, not as often as I should, about local-to-me bands I love; now it’s your turn. Recommend me some local-to-you bands without national profiles (yet!) that I should be paying attention to. Speakers in Code kids, this means you.

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