BUCK AND SHANTI CURRAN, the husband-and-wife team behind ethereal folk band ARBOREA, have been touring nearly non-stop (going from France through Spain to Italy and out to SXSW) and curating compilations right from their home base in Lewiston. Leaves of Life is available through DARLA RECORDS, features the likes of DEVENDRA BANHART and ALELA DIANE, and benefits the UN WORLD FOOD PROGRAM. And the newest is We Are All One, in the Sun, a tribute album to remember ROBBIE BASHO, which was released May 11 on IMPORTANT RECORDS (also home to Portland slow-core heavy rockers OCEAN). It can be heart-breakingly gorgeous, evoking the kind of emotion and unique sounds that Basho was known for before his death in 1986. Arborea’s contribution is “Blue Crystal Fire,” where Shanti is right up front from the start, her vocals bending the capabilities of the recording apparatus and Buck’s accompaniment enveloping the listener like a warm blanket (to pull sentiment from the lyrics). Also be on the lookout for an ODETTA tribute put out by the UK mag Wears the Trousers, to which Arborea contributed “This Little Light of Mine.” They’re taking a bit of a deserved break at the moment, but look for a North Star gig in late July.

HONEY CLOUDS release their second proper full-length, Cover the Forest, on PEAPOD RECORDINGS with a gig at SPACE May 28. FOAM CASTLES and TAN VAMPIRES play support roles.

As a “Christian” band, the WRECKING (formerly Kingpin Wrecking Crew) get their success a little under the mainstream radar, but they’re doing some big things. They’ve had their video for the cover of “In Your Eyes” nominated for Best Pop Music Video by the GOSPEL MUSIC CHANNEL, and their single “You Remain” was a top 5 track on AIR 1, which is the radio network set up to create a national Christian-music listening platform. Now they’re working toward a 2011 full-length by releasing an EP, The Catalyst, and a single, “About to Fall,” that’s getting some mainstream play and is the focus of an Air 1 campaign encouraging people to share stories about “how music has helped pick them up after they have fallen.” Really, though, the band deserve the most credit for their work trying to help improve the lives of children around the world through organizations like LOVE 146, INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION, and CHILDVOICE.

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