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Tiny Vipers

Who? Tiny Vipers is Jesy Fortino, the 24-year-old Seattle singer/songwriter and former burrito employee who finds making music under a different name allows her audience to put distance between her and her songs. The lovely soundscapes of Hands Across the Void, Tiny Vipers’ studio debut and first release for the Sub Pop label, hit store shelves late last month.

What’s the Deal? Even though it was Fortino who wrote and played almost everything on her album, she still gives credit to engineer Chris Common and friend and musician Ben Cissner for helping her perfect the sparse-yet-spacious feel of Hands Across the Void. With a voice that sounds like a mix between Joanna Newsom and Colin Meloy, Tiny Vipers plays simple, repetitive guitar lines that give plenty of room for her intricate, intimate lyrics to shine through, like on the nearly-11-minute epic “Swastika,” or the nocturnal, haunting “Campfire Resemblance.” This is no Joni Mitchell-influenced piece of work — Fortino takes her cues from Current 93 and Joy Division.

Fun Fact: We’ve learned that Tiny Vipers used to make burritos for a living, but she’s also perfected her culinary talents elsewhere. “I used to work for Seafood ‘n Chowder, both in Renton and Issaquah, WA, for about two years,” Fortino tells SPIN.com. “I used to go through the roof [at the one in Issaquah] when they were closed and drink their beer. I also worked at the Issaquah, WA McDonalds during the great Beanie Baby craze of 1997 — my manager there was also a methhead.”

Now Hear This:
Tiny Vipers – “On This Side” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web:
Tiny Vipers at MySpace
Tiny Vipers at Sub Pop

Talk: Will you join ‘Hands’ with Tiny Vipers?

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