Music » Critics' Picks

The Lighthouse and the Whaler

8 p.m. Tuesday, January 25. Cicero's, 6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City.



Now that Sufjan Stevens has embraced electro-deconstruction and revealed that he was only kidding about that whole 50 states project, it's fallen to umpteen indie Americana-philes to resume the folksy cartography. On its 2009 self-titled debut, the Lighthouse and the Whaler makes a few explicit nods to its native Ohio, but the band gets good mileage out of Midwestern candor and chamber-folk blandishments. The arrangements break no ground but cover it in a glittery gauze: Plinking glockenspiel, steady strumming guitars and bouzoukis, brushed and dampened drums, high school recital harmonies and lots of strings — sometimes primitively plucked, sometimes numinously raised — abound. Songwriter Michael LoPresti soaks his voice in bittersweet reverb to woo the world (and the girls) he'll never understand, but the string-scored melodies offer hope that's more than a consoling illusion.

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