MOTD: Aunt Ange, Olga Walks Away

Music of the Day is a series of brief asides alerting you, the keen reader, of the music currently wafting pleasantly in my headphones and vibrating against my skull.  Written however I choose and, as always, to be continued...

It's a rare occurrence that I get a music recommendation from my wife.  This is not a dig on her tastes; she'll be the first to tell you that she hasn't bought a piece of music for herself in almost 20 years, which accounts for the last band she turned me on to, U2.  But one night she came home from work with a small brown envelope sealed in wax.  

Aunt Ange (band page here) carry the "independent" label in the truest sense of the word: a carefully constructed, unique collective intent on crafting music with texture: layer upon layer of instrumentation and voice that remain distinct despite contributing to a singular vision.  True categorization is elusive - think a spinning, artful hybrid of Radiohead and Tom Waits as produced by George Martin, with a dense, sumptuousness to the vocals reminiscent of the type of interplay found in Local Natives or Fleet Foxes.  

Their latest album, Olga Walks Away (available via bandcamp) is awash in diverse instrumentation and rich harmonies, an eclectic folk collection from the other side of a dream.  Although there is a loose thread of a story that winds through the songs, the emphasis is on tone, mood, and a mastery of instruments that never overwhelms the song but always serves it.  The percussion of "Pumpkins and Patches" immediately brings to mind Bone Machine era Tom Waits until the vocals kick in, when you're treated to a narrative describing a land of sweets conjured in the fever-dream of Willy Wonka.  Each song springs from the same landscape (food does figure pretty prominently in the lyrics) and proves to be a satisfying, cohesive album that rewards with each additional listen.  Perfect for late night headphone duty.

Standout tracks: "Pumpkins and Patches", "Butternut Sunshine", "Velvet Sidewalks"