Some terrible beauty was born when Diana Darby met Mark Spencer in Brooklyn to record her debut. Darby, a Nashville singer/songwriter, composes small, quiet Southern slices of life and death -- images like "June bug sitting/on your front porch/where'd you leave your smile?" or "Carry me back home/to the hills that I love/Let me taste the water/one more time." Meanwhile, Spencer, formerly of Boston alt-country pioneers the Blood Oranges, quietly coaxes from his instruments -- guitars, synths, organs and wind chimes -- a delicate menace, a prayer for the dying. The songs ebb and flow, sometimes spilling over their hushed confines, the fears and memories running wild. "Open your heart/to all that/you once thought/could never be," Darby whispers from the other side of a mirror. You might find comfort in the words, but Spencer's layered guitars tremble queerly, as at the end of a long, slow, aching trip -- a bad one, but not without some lovely, unimagined flashes. Such are the moments that... More >>>