Dear Nora

While Portland's Dear Nora is known on record as a sprawling collective of nearly a dozen musicians, the group's core member, singer/guitarist Katy Davidson, is touring the country totally alone. Well, not totally -- she's joined on the road by songwriter Owen Ashworth, who performs under the name Casiotone for the Painfully, um, Alone. But don't think that Davidson's solo itinerary or choice of company adds up to gloomy music; on the contrary, her songs are breathy, breezy blasts of gossamer pop. Like the Aislers Set's tomboyish little sister, Dear Nora spins melodies sugary enough to cause a case of the spins. Just check out the outfit's cover of Missy Elliott's "Hot Boys," a collaboration with Ashworth that appears on States Rights Records' Bro Zone compilation, to see just how beholden to pop music Davidson is. Mountain Rock, Dear Nora's latest full-length, briefly flirts with folky melancholy, but with a bill rounded out by local sweet teeth Dressy Bessy and Breezy Porticos, there's no chance that Davidson's Denver appearance will disappoint -- or depress.

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