The Ovaries-eez, Teri Quinn, and Calvin Arsenia @ Mills Record Company
I don’t think there’s a better time for folk music than the early Spring. Something about the combination of fallen leaves and budding branches, the temperature fluctuations, the electricity of it all lends itself to banjos, acoustic guitars, and stunning melodies. And this Saturday, Mills Record Company will turn into a hotbed for folk music. The Ovaries-eez will play from their latest album, Moon Birth, and will be joined by Teri Quinn and Calvin Arsenia. While each act brings a different flavor of folk to the stage, all three approach their art with a passion that is fully palpable in their music–whether on record or stage.
Teri Quinn front loads her songs with banjo and her ache-filled voice. These two elements create an angular skeleton for her to drape with swelling strings–whose gauzy textures give her sound a lushness. With mesmerizing rhythms and arresting melodies, Teri Quinn, song after song, shows that she is able to conjure the darkest images and dust the with glitter. Her unflinching narratives churn without restraint. If you haven’t heard this musician doing what she does, then you should change that this Saturday.
Moving in a different end of the folk spectrum, Calvin Arsenia’s music is smoothed over, polished, and rhythmically complex. The harpist and singer blends a bit of baroque pop to his folksy sound. And the musician does this without losing sight of writing hook filled ballads. Calvin Arsenia’s music uses loops and delays to create layered songs that build their tension as their parts unfurl. Part Joanna Newsom, part Bon Iver, part James Blake, Arsenia writes songs that wrap their complexity and catch around you like a sonic blanket.
Eschewing both the angularity and polish of the aforementioned acts, The Ovaries-eez build their songs from subtle and muted instrumentals and stunning vocal harmonies. The trio’s ability to layer a single phrase with different voices or to create an array of melodies that come together seamlessly gives their songs an otherworldly quality, a quality that never fades from Moon Birth. The album doesn’t use high energy songs to power itself; instead Moon Birth lets its sounds fill the space with their dazzling ethereality. The Ovaries-eez make the kind of music that you want to diffuse from some unseen porch while you stroll through an unknown neighborhood.
Early Spring is the time of folk. And this Saturday and Mills Record Company folk will thrive. Whether you’re a fan of Teri Quinn’s roughened melodies, Calvin Arsenia’s harp loops, or The Ovaries-eez’s mystical harmonies, this show will have something for you. And if you don’t think you like folk, stop by and have your mind changed/blown.