Music News

Laura Gibson

Some indie-folk artists work overtime to prove they can wring as much racket from their acoustic instruments as any electricity-wielding punk. In contrast, Laura Gibson, who shares this bill with the Beebs, Jonathan Byerley and Hollyfelds, prizes delicacy over aggression. On If You Come to Greet Me, her latest album on Hush Records (the Portland, Oregon, imprint that launched the Decemberists), many of the songs seem ready to crumble halfway through, only to catch a second wind. Take "This Is Not the End," which, appropriately enough, is the disc's first song. Gibson sings it in a tentative, sometimes halting voice over a backdrop of tender piano-tinkling and gently plucked guitar strings -- but the addition of trumpet and strings at its midpoint transforms the piece into a lovely miniature capable of enhancing any glass menagerie. Not every song on the CD is as fragile: "Small Town Parade" moves at the pace of a march, albeit a pretty funereal one. But Gibson's at her best when she's at her quietest.