Live Music: Lindsay Clark and Half Shadow

Sat, July 20 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
The Sou'wester
3728 J Pl
WA 98644

Live Music: Lindsay Clark and Half Shadow

7/20. 8p. Free


Lindsay Clark:

Lindsay Clark finds balance between traditional folk, English folk, country and her own version of experimental folk that seems to come from within. With influences ranging from the Beach Boys, Elizabeth Cotton, Joni Mitchell, Appalachian folk, her classical upbringing and her father’s record collection, she blends many worlds into a uniquely warm sound. She has carved out a unique and vibrant place as an artist with her penchant for poetry, rich harmony and a style of self-taught fingerpicking influenced by Nick Drake, John Fahey, and others.

Originally from the small gold rush town of Nevada City, CA, she now resides in Portland, OR. She has shared the stage with musicians such as Alela Diane, Adam Torres, Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors), Ryan Francesconi (Joanna Newsom), Jolie Holland, and Michael Hurley. Her sound has been described as “folk with angelic vocals washing over smooth edges” (1859 Magazine), with her recent album Carpe Noctem called “stunning” by NPR Music. The album features William Tyler, Alela Diane, Sage Fisher (Dolphin Midwives), & Andy Rayborn (Paper Gates) and was engineered, co-produced, co-arranged with Jeremy Harris (Fruit Bats / Hand Habits). She has also recently contributed to Michael Hurley’s latest release, Time of the Foxgloves.

Half Shadow:

For the past decade Half Shadow, the midnight-blue songwriting moniker of Portland’s Jesse Carsten, has been unfurling an enigmatic, windswept music: equal parts earthen folk and cosmic rock and roll, with a primal pop experimentalism seeping from the edges. Wedding an expansive, transcendent poetics to a fiercely home-spun aesthetic, Carsten creates joyful, eclectic song-collages that embrace the experimental singer-songwriter tradition of the Pacific Northwest while enfolding an array of canonical art-voicings; songs range from abstract finger-picked poems to heart-tugged acapella treaties and repetitive art-rock incantations. Half Shadow’s performances are recognized as deep feeling, immersive events. The Portland Mercury has praised Carsten’s shows as “invariably powerful, full of wonder, and unlike anything else.”

Following a steady string of homemade cassettes, CD-Rs, and digital one-off releases, Carsten birthed the first fully formed Half Shadow LP in 2019, Dream Weather Its Electric Song, which was hailed by Antiquated Future as “a carefully thought-out work…of poetic devotionals to the natural world, the subconscious, other realms.” The record was celebrated for its ability to work tangible magic. As Queen City Sounds put it, Dream Weather deconstructs “familiar songwriting styles, bringing the logical mind into alternate pathways of operating.” Following Dream Weather, on which Half Shadow toured in late 2019, and which after followed the world-crashing pandemic, Carsten released At Home With My Candles (Bud Tapes/Dove Cove Records), an album of mythopoetic paeans to the domestic uncanny, the mysterious and unseen worlds experienced at home. Expanding the project’s intimate poetics into something more sonically encompassing, Carsten conjured intimate folk song epics, lo-fi dirges, and primal pop experiments that effectively connect the domestic and the cosmic, the ordinary and the surreal. The album displays, according to Various Small Flames, “an uncanny marriage between personal insight and a wider mystical experience” and was celebrated by a small but fervent cadre of international listeners in the know.

Carsten’s non-linear and environmental dream-lyrics place him in the company of like-minded contemporaries such as Mega Bog’s Erin Birgy, Yves Jarvis, and Ruth Garbus, for whom songwriting is an attempt at surreal levels of poetic feeling. Having been called “one of Portland’s best kept secrets,” it is paradoxically Half Shadow’s mystery-inspired, DIY ethos that spirits Carsten’s ever-evolving project out of the home-recordist’s cave and onto more illuminated stages. When it does, Half Shadow is ready to wrap listeners in the dark, sparkling hues and mossy undergrowth that have become the poetic trademark of this singular undertaking.

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