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If You Come to Greet Me

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Album Review

In the years since their biggest early act, the Decemberists, made the jump first to Kill Rock Stars and then to Capitol Records, the tiny Portland, OR, indie Hush Records has quietly turned into one of the most consistently interesting small labels in the country. Although Hush has its share of pop bands (Norfolk & Western, featuring ex-Decemberists drummer Rachel Blumberg; the flat-out terrific Parks & Recreation), the label has also developed an impressive stable of folk and country-tinged singer/songwriters, including Casey Dienel, Shelley Short, and now, Laura Gibson. Gibson's second album and first for the label (her 2004 debut, Amends, was self-released), If You Come to Greet Me is a textbook Hush release. Folk-based but not in the self-consciously "weird" tradition of the Devendra Banhart wing of the current folk-rock revival, these nine intimate songs are centered on Gibson's close-miked nylon-string guitar and warm, appealingly scratchy voice. (Imagine Joanna Newsom singing much lower than her trademark Betty Boop register, and more assuredly on pitch.) However, Gibson's backing band on this album is the core of Norfolk & Western (Blumberg on drums and vibes, Peter Broderick on various stringed things and musical saw, Cory Gray on piano and trumpet, and leader Adam Selzer on electric guitar and samples; Selzer also co-produced and mixed), and the album has the same rich alt-folk vibe as their own recent releases, like a less trippy and emotionally fragile Neutral Milk Hotel. The resulting combination of singer/songwriter directness and subtle but exquisitely detailed chamber pop arrangements gives If You Come to Greet Me greater musical depth than many similar neo-folk albums.

Customer Reviews

Perfect reflective album

I absolutely love this album- its wistful and smart and sensitive. It is great music for cooking with- especially when I bake bread. My favorite time to listen to this album though is when I'm working on my potters wheel throwing bowls. That process is all about being open to clay and hearing what it is saying, and this album feels searchy and open and emotional in the same way to me.

LOVE LOVE LOVE

Love. It. <3

LOVELY

I could listen to this everyday for the rest of my life, it gives me a sense of quietness in my soul, i would like these played at my wake after I die too, kinda elegant way to go out

Biography

Born: Coquille, OR

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A native of the small rural Oregon town of Coquille, singer-songwriter and classically trained cellist Laura Gibson is part of the Pacific Northwest folk-pop scene that centers on the Portland-based indie label Hush Records, formerly the home of the Decemberists. Former Decemberists drummer Rachel Blumberg plays on Gibson's first two albums, 2006's If You Come to Greet Me and 2009's Beasts of Seasons; fellow Oregon singer-songwriters Shelley Short and Laura Veirs sing backing vocals on the latter....
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