by Pat Moran
on Fri, May 10, 2013 at 3:34 PM
ELENOWEN "I absolutely believe in true love," says Elenowen's Nicole Johnson. "I also believe that true love is never easy." The husband and wife singing duo fell in love in high school and married in their early 20s, so it's natural that their artful and hushed ruminations center on the devotion between two people. What is surprising is the candid complexity of their examination of the human heart. Recalling the raw emotion of minimalist folk-pop duo The Civil Wars, but without that embattled twosome's hardscrabble despair, Elenowen's lyrical wisdom-beyond-their-years is backed by dreamy ambiance, lush harmonies and spare acoustics that sit at the countrified intersection of Ryan Adams' anxious folk rock and the smooth pop of Lady Antebellum. The newlyweds 2010 debut LP, Pulling Back the Veil, employs the custom of uncovering the bride's face for a kiss as a metaphor for unshielded vulnerability, and that same honesty turned stripped-down sessions in their small basement apartment into YouTube sensations. Despite being mentored by country titan Blake Shelton, the Johnsons didn't make the final cut on NBC's The Voice. Elenowen is too real for reality TV, and their chemistry, both emotional and musical, is palpable. With Carolina Story. $8-$10. May 10, 8 p.m. Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. 704-376-3737.