Tiny Vipers

Wednesday, March 12

Tiny Vipers is the nom-de-indie-folk of solo Seattle songstress Jesy Fortino. And the seven austere numbers on her perfectly devastating, devastatingly perfect Hands Across the Void—easily one of my favorite albums of last year—live up to her moniker: Fashioned mostly out of just vocals and rudimentary acoustic guitar, they seem unassuming at first, but once you get close to them you realize they totally slay. Fortino’s voice is not pretty, not in the conventional sense, anyway, but it’s pretty damn compelling—like, say, Kristin Hersh, it’s husky, raw, and prone to cracking, and its emotional heft can absolutely stop you in your tracks. Some of her somber songs resemble prayer sessions on some doomed vessel; in “Shipwreck,” Fortino sings of loneliness as “The storm that casts you overboard into ocean’s cold,” plunging into her words with the shaded agony of a stunned widow. With Yann Novak. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

Wed., March 12, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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