Cross Record, Loom | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Cross Record, Loom Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., April 30, 10 p.m. 2016

Though elements of wispy, free-spirited indie folk pirouette through and twirl in and out of her 2012 record Be Good, former Chicagoan Emily Cross was never meant for the stark path of the solo wanderer with an acoustic guitar slung over her shoulder. No, a track like that record’s “Dirt Nap” is so foreboding and discordant as Cross’s chantlike, almost unintelligible vocals glide in and out that it feels like you should be listening to it in a head-down, chained-ankle trudge. Now based in Austin, Cross and her husband, Dan Duszynski, have slunk deeper into the shadows with the striking Wabi-Sabi (Ba Da Bing). The pair create a sinister, fantastical atmosphere thanks to their willingness to weave in ambient noise via what sounds like an orchestra of supplemental instrumentation (to get a sense of the group’s present-day direction, please note that Thor Harris of Swans is one of the album’s contributors). Tracks often flicker and crackle like the brush at the base of a campfire, held barely in place by rhythms that are practically imperceptible; at other times, as on “Steady Waves,” a hard riff materializes from the ether to sternly direct the rest of the instruments between the fleeting swirls of guitar and Cross’s breathy, airy vocals. Wabi-Sabi is a no-doubt triumph for Cross Record and an exciting indicator of how far the couple is willing to explore.

Kevin Warwick

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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