There’s an inherent old-timey quality to Laura Gibson’s lilting voice. On record as in person, her deliveries waver between hushed and near-whisper, and often paired with gently strummed acoustics and sparse pianos, they conjure images of quieter, simpler times. While nostalgia plays a large role in the mood of La Grande, the record as a whole marks a significant departure for Gibson. Her voice, an enviably odd mix of honeyed, high-pitched, and hiccuping, gets put front-and-center here alongside all manner of new and lush accompaniment; the somber trumpet work on “Milk-Heavy, Pollen-Eyed” is of extra special note. “Lion/Lamb” features a bossa-nova-inspired structure and pitter-pattering piano line, while “The Fire” calls to mind spirited campground sing-alongs. In La Grande, Gibson’s opened a whole new door of opportunity, and delivered the most diverse record of her career. Laura Gibson plays Muddy Waters Café on Tuesday, February 7. Call 966-9328 for info.


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