Thursday 31 Jul

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday


113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Downtown Tulsa 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Indie · Fiawna Forté -...

Fiawna Forté - mi-MOH-suh-pud-EE-kuh: A Lo-Fi Album

Zach Hale June 10th, 2014

When you have a voice as brawny and potent as Fiawna Forté’s, it’s tempting to let loose at every opportunity — let your hair down, unleash your cathartic howl and capitalize on your unusual skill. The Tulsa singer-songwriter’s 2010 debut album, Transitusdid exactly that; guitars were amplified to the max, and its songs were progressive in the sense that they built toward an inevitable release. The record operated largely within this traditional indie-rock framework, to the point where even its quieter moments couldn’t help but boil over.

Exercising restraint is a much more daunting task for any musician, let alone one with Forté’s ability. By being more selective with release points and opting for mood over vitality, you run the risk of alienating your fan base in favor of a more nuanced approach, yet, if executed properly, it often makes for a richly rewarding listen. Forté’s sophomore effort, mi-MOH-suh-pud-EE-kuh: A Lo-Fi Album, is a drastic stylistic departure from Transitus — a darker, more adventurous effort that demands patience from the listener but recompenses with brooding purity.

This much is evident from “Over You,” the album’s jarring opening track. With little more than a faint acoustic guitar strum, Forté echoes the yearning haunt of Marissa Nadler, her vocals — hushed and reticent — assuming the forefront. The song’s seemingly withdrawn tension stands in stark contrast to Transitus, harnessing what would otherwise have culminated in a rousing, guitar-driven explosion in favor of a lonesome whimper.

“Behind the Curtain,” meanwhile, recalls the drunken fervor of Tom Waits at his most urgent, with its ominous piano creaks and banjo plucks serving as the canvas for what is easily Forté’s most emotive vocal performance to date. Instruments clatter and clank; arrangements become more disheveled; and Forté unleashes a gravelly, unintelligible wail strictly designed to raise the hair on your neck. The song is equal parts thrilling and horrifying, and it is inarguably her most fascinating composition.

“Over You” and “Behind the Curtain” occupy overtly dissimilar ends of the musical spectrum — one guarded beauty, the other discordant cacophony. In between, Forté gives us everything from PJ Harvey’s shadowy jangle-pop to Nick Cave’s blues-based sound experiments. Navigating through such disparate sequencing — especially 16 songs and 44 minutes worth — can be grueling for even the most persistent listener, and mi-MOH-suh does succumb to this at times. While the sheer volume of ideas present within the album is something to behold, trimming it down to a cleaner 12 tracks and a sub-40-minute runtime would have made for a more accessible listen.

But that’s not at all what mi-MOH-suh was intended to be. This is a record that cracks its door open so that just a glint of light protrudes, inviting the listener inside but doing so reluctantly. And while unconventional in sequencing and composition, Forté has compiled a remarkably rewarding collection of songs, and it’s her most daring and accomplished work to date.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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