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Second Stage: South China

Download "Painting" by South China (Right-click or control-click to save to your computer).

Last week, when Washington was buried under absolutely awesome amounts of snow, I wanted to write a blog post along the lines of "Songs for the Dead of Winter." Now I don't have to, though, because I've found a single album to fill that need. Coincidentally, it's called Washingtons, the first full-length release from Maine-based experimental folk duo South China.

Husband and wife Jeremy and Jerusha Robinson have mastered a sound that's about as satisfying as their names would have you hope. They make sparse folk songs that are studded with beautiful cello, horn and piano inlays that give each tune a rich and appealing ambiance. Jerusha Robinson's soothing vocals are dispensed as intimately as if they were whispered in your ear. "Painting," the second cut off Washingtons, begins with a lovely, understated orchestral swell, and gives way to a warmly plucked cello line that quietly supports the rest of the song.

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Jerusha and Jeremy Robinson (photo credit: Mikael Kennedy)

South China makes you want to lay down your load, take off your coat, unlace your boots and settle in for a tranquil winter's day with a big mug of whatever hot beverage you choose. Even if spring came early where you live, South China has a relaxing effect that's suitable for any season. Plus, who doesn't love cello?

The Robinsons are currently touring the U.S., playing small venues and other intimate settings in small towns and big cities alike. They have one date scheduled in Austin for SXSW. The venue? "A backyard."

Listen to "Painting" by South China:

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