The Dry Spells: Mystical, Wounded Whimsy

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The members of San Francisco's Dry Spells conjure up a magical and utterly Californian vibe on their debut disc, Too Soon for Flowers. In "Sruti," the three-woman, one-man outfit (whose personnel overlaps with the band Citay) refers heavily to Fleetwood Mac's wounded whimsy, while maintaining a spirit and sound of its own.

Friday's Pick

  • Song: "Sruti"
  • Artist: The Dry Spells
  • CD: Too Soon for Flowers
  • Genre: Rock
The Dry Spells i

In The Dry Spells' "Sruti," three-part harmonies twist around each other like ivy on an oak. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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The Dry Spells

In The Dry Spells' "Sruti," three-part harmonies twist around each other like ivy on an oak.

courtesy of the artist

True to the meaning of its title — referring to Hindu religious literature inspired by divine revelation — "Sruti" sounds quietly fetching and mystical, with three-part harmonies twisting around each other like ivy on an oak. An introduction, complete with finger cymbals and (almost) a cappella vocals, slides seamlessly into a gently driving, plaintive folk melody. The dreaminess is underpinned by echoing violin, a guitar whose player has clearly placed offerings at the icon of Lindsey Buckingham, and an intuitive but gritty rhythm section. The words unfurl into a series of prophetic, ambiguous images: "Through the trees, I saw a hand reach out for me / To the sea, the hungry voices were calling me."

Sirens show up in the water, as does an ivory boat; then, that guitar takes over and twists and turns and spins. The finger cymbals return and the revelation ends as it started, with nothing resolved. Perfect.

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