White Hinterland

Thursday

SXSW Platters

White Hinterland

Phylactery Factory (Dead Oceans)

With the debut Phylactery Factory, New York-based singer-songwriter Casey Dienel has evolved from solo act to bandleader. The quirky writer-muso genres with fellow freak-folker Joanna Newsom, thanks to semiconfessional, somewhat autobiographical, regionally influenced tunes. Like Newsom, Dienel is an acquired taste, not because her lovely voice approximates a cat undergoing castration without the aid of anesthesia, but because the album demands the same attention as a good book; she who lets the music fade into the background misses much. There's much beauty here, to be sure, the reward for active listening; "A Beast Washed Ashore" evokes a wistful ocean as Dienel sings of a beached whale that meets a grisly end as the result of his misfortune. Atmospheric and haunting, the song – like Phylactery Factory itself – femmes Fiona Apple minus the self-pitying histrionics. (Thursday, March 13, Mohawk, 8:30pm.)

***

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