Christy & Emily

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>5/5

This local dream-folk duo couldn’t have picked a more straightforward name for itself: Christy & Emily are guitarist Christy Edwards and keyboardist Emily Manzo. Both sing on Gueen’s Head, their thoroughly enchanting eight-song debut. (Followers of classical music might know Manzo from her work with video artist Paul Rowley; they’ve drawn accolades for their joint multimedia performances of material by John Cage.) Yet if their taste in titles tends toward the plain-Jane—selections here are called “Ocean,” “Ghost,” “Signs” and “Birds”—Christy & Emily favor mystery and ambiguity when it comes to the music itself.

Throughout Gueen’s Head, the women complicate initially simple-seeming songs in one oftwo ways. They might omit some crucial lyrical detail, as in “New Years,” when they wonder,“What will the New Year bring us before he too is dead?” without defining who “he” is. Or they pile on layers of lovely home-studio debris that make it difficult to tell where structure ends and atmosphere begins. Check out “Noah,” which starts with delicate electric-piano tinkles but quickly pools into a free-floating sea of reverb, for a bewitching example of the latter tactic.

Christy & Emily play the Social Registry Summer Festival at The Yard Sun 12.

Gueen’s Head (The Social Registry)