Winged migration

By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 2, 2009

After The Devil Dancing's hearty arrangements, the pillowy austerity of South China's Washingtons skirts by like a dreamy lullaby. The album is nomadic in concept (the Robinsons moved six times over the course of its seven-year gestation) but lovingly attuned to the details of its settings. One of its chief pleasures is Jerusha's porcelain delivery, at turns grave and delicate, conveying magnitudes with lines as succinct as "Autumn leaves" and "It's your fault." Spare as many of the compositions are (some simple as cello and plinking piano), they manage to portray a genuine depth of emotion, suggesting years of companionship in cars packed with boxes and a simple kiss on the forehead.

As both bands hit the open road, it's clear that wherever they are, they'll always make their music sound like home.

Christopher Gray can be reached at cgray@phx.com.

THE DEVIL DANCING | by Brown Bird | on Peapod Recordings | CD-release at Hogfarm Studios Annex in Biddeford with Honey Clouds + Plains | December 4 @ 8 pm | $7 | 207.282.1583

WASHINGTONS | by South China | on Peapod Recordings | CD-release at Apohadion, 107 Hanover St, Portland @ 8 pm | by donation

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