This past weekend Jesy Fortino, aka Tiny Vipers, celebrated the release of her Sub Pop debut with Portland’s 2% Majesty and longtime area Pacific Northwest sound scramblers Climax Golden Twins at The Triple Door in her hometown of Seattle. We didn’t make it, but watching Fortino strum, pick, and sing through “The Downward,” the haunting finale from her super Hands Across The Void, it’s even clearer why the singer/songwriter’s spare, infinitely rich sound’s is becoming a fast favorite around here.
Joined onstage by Ben Cissner (See Me River, Whalebones, Windsor for the Derby), the two transform the album version of “Downward”‘s more gentle opening into a razor-wire chime and then lope patiently through cushioning guitar interplay, making you wait awhile for Fortino’s strong, shuteye vocals. It’s tempting to mention a reedier C. Marshall or less high-pitch J. Newsom, but Fortino’s spacious delivery, skeletal approach, and achy twang are quite her own. As is her painterly storytelling, details dropping — “There’s no feeling in your heart … there’s no feeling left at all” ? when she damn well pleases. Filmed by Scott Ottaway (the videographic talent behind John Vanderslice’s ongoing blog tour), the clip makes quite the A/V treat.
At the end of these eight-plus minutes, she apologizes for a cell phone, but we were so busy charting the wooden taps, rustles, and backing sighs to notice: Yup, Tiny Vipers’ makes emptiness sounded plenty full.
After watching that, we figure a couple of you might wanna make it to Tiny Vipers show in the flesh. Behold — tour dates.
08/10 – Anacortes, WA @ Dept of Safety
08/14 – Sacramento, CA @ Fools Foundation
08/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Elbo Room
08/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
08/22 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
08/23 – Pawtucket, RI @ Machines With Magnets
08/24 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall
08/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Chapel
08/26 – Washington, D.C. @ Rock And Roll Hotel
09/01 – Seattle, WA @ Sky Church
09/07 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Hands Across The Void is out now on Sub Pop.