Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tiny Vipers - Life On Earth

Isolate yourself, cover your head with a snug pair of headphones, turn off all the lights, and light a candle. It’s the best way to listen to Life on Earth, Tiny Vipers’ sophomore album, and her second to be released on Sub Pop. Jesy Fortino, the one-woman wonder behind Tiny Vipers, is an unassuming young songwriter. She huddles over her guitar and avoids eye contact with her audience, but her thoughts are revealed through song. The Seattle-based musician relishes in a certain simplicity in her old folk tunes, and the shimmering emptiness of her haunting voice and stark picking of guitar say a lot without overwhelming. Fortino recorded Life on Earth in an analog studio in Austin, Texas. Recording on tape let Fortino maintain the natural echoes of guitar. At times, it sounds like her voice is coming to you through the depths of a dark cave. It’s not a cheerful listen. “Time Takes” ends with deep bass that spurts out as if a thunderstorm is looming, and “Untitled” layers distorted squeaks over disorienting chordal structures. Yet the album as a whole is sadly beautiful, a trap of ghostlike webs that carries you to a dark, timeless place. 

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