Selja Sini, Wilson Corrigan, The Cotton Ponies 

Local CD Reviews: Back Home, Sophomorism, Fancy as Fuck

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Selja Sini, Back Home
While Back Home, the debut EP from indie-folk duo Selja Sini—husband and wife Brett Engar and Selja Sini—does have enough twee lyrics about spring, birds, flowers, etc., to fill a children's picture book, its pervading shadow of melancholy creates a balance between light and dark. Sini's voice is heartstoppingly lovely, almost elfin in the delicate way it dances among the music, and her lyrics are poetic and often have a soothing, lullaby-like quality, fittingly backed by ukulele, subdued electric guitar and touches of synthesizer. But for all the sunshine and warmth found on breezy track "Songbird," much of the rest of the six-track EP finds gravity in weighty lyrics and somber moods. "Warm Heart/Cold Hands" discusses the loss of a lover in visceral terms with the lyrics, "I can still feel the traces of the maps you drew on my skin." Winter's breathless chill is captured in the synths on "Back Home," a fitting background for unsettled words about leaving one's home to travel to unfamiliar places. Concluding track "Puun Alla" ("Under the Tree"), sung in Sini's native Finnish, ends the album on a magical note. Self-released, Sept. 26,

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Wilson Corrigan, Sophomorism
"What a dream to me to be cooped up alone writing songs/ on my own," sings Park City singer-songwriter Wilson Corrigan on "Sophomorism." It's a line that encapsulates the feel of his aptly titled second album of the same name, made up of five lo-fi tracks that are all Corrigan—his whispery voice accompanies instruments that he played himself, all recorded in his bedroom. Throughout the record, the listener is reminded of the fact that Corrigan created this human, sincere music as a solo artist, especially in the way he writes lyrics as if he's reading aloud from an old journal. And the floaty, mellow sound—made up of '80s-pop-esque synths and guitar—is immediate and intimate, like you're right there as Corrigan is putting the song together. The album's melodies, such as on highlights "Joe"—with the poignant lyrics "It's not goodbye, more like,/ 'We'll see you again real soon'"—and "Fall," aren't particularly dynamic, but they make a certain sleepy, hypnotic ambiance that sweeps the listener away. Self-released, Sept. 24,

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The Cotton Ponies, Fancy as Fuck
Fancy as Fuck is the first EP that Logan punk-rock band The Cotton Ponies have released since revamping their lineup in the spring—lead vocalist/guitarist Abby Allen is the sole original member, who is now joined by Francisco Herrero (bass/backup vocals), Paul Cox (guitar/backup vocals) and Steve Cook (drums). And the chemistry between the four musicians seems to be strong, as the EP's three songs are alive with palpable energy. Loud and fast album highlight "I Wanna Fight" hits like a kick to the teeth with its chugging guitar lines and an anthemic chorus of "I wanna fight!," which must be the perfect detonator for live-show mosh pits. Allen shows off her vocal variety throughout, switching between gritty snarls, screeching and Tim Armstrong-esque slurring with ease. Things drag a bit on "Jackass"; it seems like the band is uncomfortable at a slower tempo, and as a result, there are a few spots where the instrumentation isn't together. But "Smash" brings all the fiery power right back. Self-released, Sept. 13,

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