"Big Black Bird"
"Black River Killer"
For the greater part of the '00s, Blitzen Trapper lay hidden in the underground scene of the Pacific Northwest. The group formed in 2000, recording two albums in obscurity early in the decade, until Wild Mountain Nation brought Blitzen Trapper the attention of the Sub Pop label. With Sub Pop, it released Furr, a hooky and textured piece of roots-rock that landed on many 2008 best-of lists.
Blitzen Trapper's newest EP, Black River Killer, has a country heart with electronic accessories; on it, boisterous folk is laced with whistling synthesizers. In spite of the buoyant arrangements, though, the songs come from the perspective of a murderer. It's a dark approach that demonstrates the band's willingness to use lyrics as more than just another instrument in a piece. The four selections performed in this World Cafe session all sound like promising stepping stones toward a future full-length.
This segment originally ran Jan. 15, 2009.