ALANNA GURR AND THE GREATEST STATE play the Horseshoe Thursday (May 1). See listing. Rating: NNNN
Alanna Gurr's voice brings you inside. It's hushed and raspy, giving you a sense of secret confidences as she coos her at times nearly whispered tunes.
On her sophomore disc with her band, the Greatest State, Gurr works with a melancholic country- and soul-tinged indie folk palette: embellished minimalism with spiky, twangy electric guitar lines and lots of pedal steel, organ and backup vocals. (Guests include Daniel and Ian Romano, Jessy Bell Smith and Raven Shields.)
The band does wonders with very few chords on gentle songs like Hell Or High Water, and the sweetness of Gurr's lyrics shines, especially on By My Side.
When the group gets grooving on standout single Golden Coast, it doesn't drown Gurr's vocals out; she rises to the occasion, sounding confident and alluring. Here's hoping the band keeps exploring its poppier side on records to come.
Top track: Golden Coast