New sounds from close to home
FACES ON FILM
SOME WEATHER Fenway Recordings
Boston singer-songwriter Mike Fiore’s striking follow-up to “The Troubles’’ is unequivocal proof (for anyone who still needs it) that the singer-songwriter’s haunting 2008 debut was no fluke flash of lightning in a bottle. With his poetically opaque eye and a penchant for vocal reverb rivaled only by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Neko Case, and those dudes from Band of Horses, Fiore — a.k.a. Faces on Film — again casts his gaze in some divine directions. Over here, dreamlike roads connecting memory and loss (“Knot in the Vine’’). Over there, the moonlit valleys and rose-covered pastures of heart and soul (“A Hundred on the Hill’’). Everywhere, there’s a glowing, almost hallucinatory beauty, spangled with sleigh bells and washes of guitar, piano, and organ. But it’s not mere atmosphere or embellishment — or Fiore’s mesmeric echo of a voice — that makes “Some Weather’’ so thoroughly arresting. It’s the sustained sense of otherworldly place and space, conjoined with melodies that arc and bend and soar to the sky — and then seem to billow beyond it. “So go be the born and the ghost — be them both,’’ Fiore sings on a meditative “Moon’s Row.’’ In its way, the lyric perfectly encapsulates the sweep and spectrum of Faces on Film’s thematic and spiritual preoccupations: birth, death, love, nature, grace. You know, little things like that.
Faces on Film plays Great Scott on Dec. 11.