Young Minneapolis band the Pines starts off its ethereal 2012 album Dark So Gold
with a sinister synth drone and a guitar that seems to be trying to talk-box its way out of the misty reverb. To be sure, the forests wandered by founders Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt are thick with gothic ghosts but also with adroit finger-picking (on banjo and guitar) and songs that owe as much to the black humor of John Prine as the dark sensuality of Nick Cave. The sound of the Pines may be sweetly scented with twang, but it's as prickly and evergreen as its name.
Don't Miss: If the Pines has a St. Louis analog, it would be the Poorhouse Says, an underrated post-Americana band with a brooding sense of melody and dynamics. Get there early for the band's opening set.