Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel Things to Come (Sighlow Music)

SXSW Records

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel

Things to Come (Sighlow Music)

Anna Fermin's Trigger Gospel has already caused quite a stir in Chicago's diverse alt.country scene, where they have critics of all stripes raving about them. The Philippine-born Fermin has a voice as pure, supple, and soulful as any of Nashville's divas, plus she writes her own songs -- country rockers and sweet shuffles that provide a wide framework for her to hang her emotions on. The backing by Andon Davis on guitar, Paul Bivans on drums, and Michael Kranyiak on stand-up bass is a potent mix of hearty twang and effortless atmospheres depending on the sentiment of Fermin's songs. Things to Come is a Lloyd Maines production, and as always, he brings a steady hand to the proceedings, making sure that Fermin's voice is front and center while creating nearly perfect backdrops for her pleasing melodies. He also brings in Aztex' Joel Guzman and his button accordion for a couple of Tex-Mex workouts. There's a startlingly refreshing take of "Besame Mucho" on which Fermin's voice gets tested and comes out a winner with seemingly effortless grace. She also tries on her beguiling ways on "Run With You," recalling a young Patsy Cline that absolutely smolders. On the other end of the spectrum, "Cry" features a lightly plucked banjo that gives the song an airy sentiment, Fermin singing of lost love as an interesting contrast between melody and meaning. Things to Come may be Trigger Gospel's debut, but it sounds like the work of seasoned veterans and surely makes them a band to watch. (Saturday, Mar 18, Antone's, 9pm)

***  

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