Hold On Love
Author: Jim Macnie
"I'm more prolific when I'm sad," Maria Taylor told Vanity Fair last fall. The Azure Ray singer, who works in cahoots with Orenda Fink, shouldn't be worried about the amount of melancholy music she makes, just the level of its eloquence — which indeed is great. The duo's Hold On Love (Saddle Creek) has overtaken our home during the last month or so. It's an after-dusk album, a program of dreamy tunes with catchy elements — a certain synth wash, a repeated sigh, a chanted whisper — that works in an ethereal way but always draws you into its drift. It answers an unasked question: What if Kate and Anna McGarrigle were to spend a rainy autumn in the studio with Harold Budd? Minimal piano figures, a dainty ersatz gamelan track — Hold On Love would a great set piece with Lisa Germano's Lullaby for Liquid Pig, 2003's other low-key dreamscape which you truly need to own. The ladies moved from Georgia to Nebraska to make their opus, and evidently they're fans of steady change. Traveling around the world — Haiti to Cambodia — has brought Fink a flood of new ideas about the way the Azure Ray can sound. See if you can spot the influences when they bring a hush to the Call (15 Elbow Street, Providence). The Elected (with Rilo Kiley) and Weva Dinova share the bill.