Until about two weeks ago, I had heard of Mariee Sioux more times than I had ever listened to Mariee Sioux. By the time I was curious enough to listen to her music, she had slipped out of town on a journey with experimental folk group Brightblack Morning Light. Right around this time, Brightblack Morning Light released its newest album on Matador Records, home to Belle and Sebastian, the New Pornographers and Yo La Tengo among others. As you can guess, my interest peaked even higher.
Apparently, she’s back. And she’s got a new solo album entitled “A Bundled Bundle of Bundles.” Somehow, the CD worked its way into Cal Poly’s radio station, KCPR, after being handed off at a party, or at least that’s what I’ve heard. Either way, it’s now humming away on my computer speakers.
The CD is everything you would expect as far as sound. Sioux comes from Nevada City, home to a nice little folk scene that has produced artists like Joanna Newsom. The album hass pretty and unique vocals set against soothing guitar work and it has them in droves. To be honest, most of the album should be pretty easy to get into if you are an individual inclined towards folksy arrangements.
However, it’s the second track that sets the whole album apart and makes it so wonderful. “Wizard Flurry Home” occupies a short amount of space at four and a half minutes with other tracks hanging around the ten minute mark. It’s the most wonderful journey on the album though. Sioux sings about flurrying snow, winter, dancing and love admid continuously moving guitar work. It brings back every moment I ever spent running in the snow at night up in the mountains as I was growing up in Nevada.
The other tracks may not evoke as much atmosphere and wonder as “Wizard Flurry Home,” but they are still nice little folk songs that will hover around my playlist for a while. “Fists ‘n Seagulls” sets Sioux’s vocals against strumming that conveys senses of movement and traveling just like in “Wizard.” “Wild Eyes” unfolds upon a lengthier space with Sioux alternating between her more soothing vocals and attention grabbing pleas to “Mama” and “Papa.” “Bundles” closes the album and snakes and strums its way through a peaceful 10 minutes.
Sioux definitely fits the bill as a local artist San Luis Obispo should be proud of having. The local scene seems to be growing in scope once again or maybe I’m just taking notice of it for the first time. Either way, I will get to see Mariee Sioux play for I believe the second time. She will be playing a small show at Linnaea’s Caf‚ Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with an unannounced guest. As per the usual, attendance is free and donations are welcome.
Show Tip: If folk music isn’t your thing, come see So Many Dynamos bring loud noises to 2 Dog’s Coffee Co. and Internet on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eat lots of food at Farmers’ Market and then come enjoy the show. Big memo to Dismemberment Plan fans: you will totally dig this.
Graham Culbertson is a journalism senior and Mustang Daily music columnist.