When: Wed., Jan. 30 2013
The weekly tradition continues. 6 p.m.
Mandolin Orange's name suggests a colorful sunset, and, indeed, there's a sweet pastoral quality to the duo's country-folk songs. Guitarist Andrew Marlin plays guitar, vacillating between acoustic and electric while suggesting an appreciation for Neil Young's quieter, more somber moments. Though the music is quite pretty, it's steeped in foreboding darkness, landing somewhere between a bluegrass murder ballad and the parched dread of Will Oldham. Marlin's the principal singer and songwriter, but he'd be far less without his partner (musically and romantically), fiddler Emily Frantz. Her trilling vocals are a tender harmonic counterpart to his earthy baritone, while her fiddle provides rich texture and amplifies the music's shadowy overtones. The pair met in 2009 and followed the next year with their full-length debut, Quiet Little Room. They released the twin album set Haste Make/Hard Hearted Stranger late in 2011. The first album explores their folk-rock influences, and the second is a twangier, acoustic country-inflected affair. The duo is currently in the final stages of recording a follow-up, so expect a handful of new songs. —Chris Parker