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Nicole Atkins, Arc Isis 

When: Tue., March 25 2014
Price: $12/$15
ARC IRIS

Singer/multi-instrumentalist Jocie Adams’ stint with eclectic Americana outfit The Low Anthem may have grounded her in authentic, hard-scrabble gospel and old-timey country. Yet, nothing could have prepared the indie scene for the fusion of speakeasy cabaret, jazzy chamber-pop and primordial bluegrass that informs Adams’ current project, the orchestral folk collective Arc Iris. The addition of Adams’ smoothly quirky Joanna Newsom-styled vocals and the wry lyrical concerns of Leonard Cohen may suggest a whiplash-inducing mish-mash of misaligned musical genres. Yet Arc Iris is able swallow all of these influences — plus brassy show-tunes and ambitious prog-rock shadings — and spit them out as slippery, weird-but-tuneful pop confections. Drawing on her training as a classical composer and as an NASA technician, Adams brings compositional sweep and exacting detail to songs that morph from lowing cello to keening Appalachian harmonies to lithe Celtic-flavored waltz to airy Cocteau Twins surrealism — all in the course of three minutes. (Pat Moran)

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