Tiny Ruins, Tangleweed, Lizzie Weber | Hideout | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Tiny Ruins, Tangleweed, Lizzie Weber Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., Aug. 1, 10 p.m. 2014

At first blush, the music that New Zealander Hollie Fullbrook makes as leader of the trio Tiny Ruins sounds familiar—it’s the delicate, whimsical strain of folk-pop that Ben Ratliff of the New York Times recently described as “often used to promote communications devices on television.” The recent Brightly Painted One (Flying Nun) is pretty, rustic, and charming, but Fullbrook distinguishes herself with lyrics that achieve rare depth and poetic beauty, even when addressing fairly commonplace subjects: strained romance, lack of fulfillment, natural grandeur. Her gorgeous voice makes her sound like a slightly breathier Joni Mitchell singing the songs of Nick Drake, its clarity and directness balanced by vulnerable reticence. But there’s nothing tentative about her words. In “She’ll Be Coming Round” she’s inspired by a magnificent wild horse (“That old free will might be a myth / But I’m gonna try and get me some”), and in “Straw Into Gold” she evokes suppressed desire so keenly that it practically stings (“And I’ve got all I need / Wild animals got you / There’s nothing more I’d like / Than to have you in the room”). Gently supported by her own sparse guitar and a lean, subtle rhythm section (bassist Cass Vasil and drummer Alex Freer), Fulbrook has made one of the year’s loveliest, most tender records, its delicacy in no way undercutting it seriousness. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12, $10 in advance

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