Eyes Like Ours
Life on Earth
Jesy Fortino, a.k.a. Tiny Vipers, makes music as moody and haunting as Bill Callahan and Will Oldham, and as serenely beautiful as Sub Pop label mates Fleet Foxes. On Fortino’s 2007 debut, Hands Across the Void, her brand of stark, gothic-flavored acoustic music set her apart from the scores of solo artists swimming in the same country-flavored, singer-songwriter pond. Life On Earth makes it clear she’s not getting out of the water any time soon. Using the sparest of arrangements, and confidently stripping the songs down to their vulnerable core, Fortino’s smoky, odd warble is the fragile armature around which plucked and strummed guitar lines wrap themselves. Steady, too, is the glacial pace of the tunes, but as each one melds into the next, a new soundscape unfolds with mesmerizing elegance. From the emotionally wrenching “Eyes Like Ours” to the ghostly “Young God” and the hearty (by comparison) “Time Takes,” Fortino evokes a number of classic ‘60s folk-rock musical icons (including guitarist John Fahey and dark pop goddess Nico), but she puts an utterly original and unique spin on it all.