By Mabel Suen
By Cassie Kohler
By Evan C. Jones
By RFT Music
By RFT Music
By Tom Finkel
By Ryan Wasoba
By Roy Kasten
Auset is a bit of a mystery at least at first. Judging by the austere, sketchy-on-identifying-details packaging of last year's self-titled mini-album, it's nearly impossible to tell that Auset is both the name of a band and its namesake singer-songwriter (who's actually married to Brad Sarno, the other half of Auset the band). But the lack of background and pretense allows a clean-slate approach, which meshes well with the gentle folk and Americana on the disc. The EP's six songs rarely have tempos beyond that of a slow heartbeat, befitting the kind of languor and contemplation that surround these arrangements. Opening track "Waterloo" is a standout, a song about illness, recovery and rebirth that proves that it's impossible to write a bad song with "Waterloo" in the title (just ask ABBA and the Kinks). Its simple refrain and bare, first-person narration leave plenty of room for the listener to fill in the blanks.
Sarno's pedal steel and guitar leads make up much of the atmosphere on Auset. Acoustic guitar and some spare, tasteful accompaniment cloak each song, which suits Auset's unassuming voice; what she lacks in range she makes up for in self-assurance, and she sounds at home and at peace in her songs. However, it may be that sense of peace and comfort that allows this record to wash over the listener; neither Auset's lyrics nor her voice leave much of an impression by the album's end. Any hint of emotion in her voice would be welcome and just a step outside traditional rhythms and modes would be a godsend.
Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city