Artist: Laura Gibson
Title: “La Grande”
Format: NPR First Listen (Spotify)
Portland-based singer/songwriter Laura Gibson’s third album, “La Grande,” builds gently on her old tropes, but doesn’t travel too far from her hushed, intimate settings on her first platter for Barsuk Records.
Experiments dot what is an otherwise whispery record. The opening track, “La Grande,” is a country dust-up with more punch than anything on her overlooked 2009 effort, “Beasts of Seasons,” and “The Fire” brings in a piano for some flavor.
Elsewhere, Gibson’s breathy, frail voice is on display. “The Rushing Dark,” Grande’s best song, features hummed backing vocals, giving it an old-timey feel.
It’s the tiniest movement of steps forward, but Gibson does venture out beyond the autumnal landscapes for which she’s known.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.