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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist celebrates Relief in Abstract’s 2-year anniversary and checks out Matrimony and Laney Jones

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The first and last time I saw North Carolina’s Matrimony was in 2011 opening for Langhorne Slim. They were already impressive then. But since, they’ve sharpened their sound and chops even further and are now signed to Columbia Records, and every bit of the added experience shows. Their latest performance opening for Matt Pond (July 11, the Social) was a fine-etched bridge between folk and indie rock that’s got more traditional fire than their gentrified indie peers and more freshness than their strict constructionist contemporaries. They may not fit perfectly in either of the two camps, but they pack all the virtues of both. And what makes it all fly is their triumphant songwriting. The gestalt is traditional yet forward, and that’s no small feat.

Considering the major folk renaissance going on in pop music right now with the Mumford tide, the timing’s riper than ever for Matrimony since they’ve probably got more guts and soul than any of the big names right now.

But ain’t nothing wrong with trad either. Young Mount Dora singer-songwriter Laney Jones is a little bit folk and a little bit jazz, but all old-time. And at her album release party (July 12, Lil’ Indies), she and her band packed the little house and waxed it all in golden, time-frozen amber with their charming Americana sound. But it’s all in her voice, and it’s a thing that brims with as much sweet innocence as it does rich craft.

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