Few albums embody the folksy, ethereal essence of a golden state songstress so well as Gift for the End, the sophomore offering from California’s own Mariee Sioux. Recorded in the summer of 2011 at Placerville’s Moonsoon Studios and Nevada City’s Sun Dial studios, the new song-cycle breathes as easily and resonates as warmly as 2007’s Faces in the Rocks but brims with audible shifts in ambience and perspective.
Impressionistic narratives are underscored by thatchwork guitar patterns that showcase Mariee’s voice, an unadorned, naked instrument that rings clear and high above airy atmospherics and mellow percussion. Gift for the End is dream logic at play: a fluid procession of personal and natural imagery that moves from place to place and symbol to symbol but ultimately never loses its cohesive dimensions or emotional shape.
Between the release of Faces in the Rocks and the recording of Gift for the End, Mariee toured on both East and West coasts of America and across Europe. Along with appearances at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival and Brooklyn’s Northside Festival, she has performed alongside and in support of Joanna Newsom, Alela Diane, Brightblack Morning Light, Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star), Michael Hurley, Marissa Nadler, and more. Mariee also joined indie luminary Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy last autumn while recording the impromptu Bonnie & Mariee EP, released earlier this year.
While grounded in the earthy sounds of Mariee’s fingerpicking, the album owes as much to Joanna Newsom’s ambitious compositional scope as it does to the summery Americana of 1960’s Laurel Canyon. Gift for the End is both an evolution from and a companion to Faces in the Rocks: a sunset album that gives the mind room to wander, wonder, and relax.
Mariee launched her summer tour just this past weekend in Southern California’s pristine beach cities and brings her exquisite artful noise here to LA for three dates over the next eight days:
07/28 Origami Vinyl (Instore)
07/29 McCabes – with Doug Paisley
07/31 Hotel Cafe