Tiny Vipers, 'Life on Earth' (Sub Pop)

7
Life on Earth
Critical Mass
Label: Sub Pop

by Stacey Anderson

Seattle folk minstrel Jesy Fortino, a.k.a. Tiny Vipers, expresses herself with languorous, smoky silences -- in the hesitations between her intricate acoustic guitar picking, slowly whistled interludes, and burdened sighs. But while the similarly mystical/mewling Joanna Newsom seems adrift in fantasy, Tiny Vipers finds wonder in being rooted firmly to the terra. Unfurling a bit ponderously, with the title track clocking in at more than ten minutes of spare strums and warbles, her second album recalls another college-radio favorite, Morphine. Fortino may not look like rain, but she sounds like it.

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