Orenda Fink – Ask the Night

January 01, 1970

(Saddle Creek)




You don’t hear many indie-folk singers whose voices demand
to be characterized as pretty.


Orenda Fink of Azure Ray/Art in Manila fame is a welcome
exception. And she’s clearly made the most of that distinction here, setting
the tone with the heartbreaking lullaby, “Why Is the Night Sad.” It’s a
haunting performance, easing you in with just a gently finger-picked acoustic
and a vocal so intimate, it feels like she’s actually staring out the window of
whatever room you happen to be listening in, confiding in you.


Fink is joined by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse on the second
track, “High Ground,” a mandolin-fueled bluegrass gem about how people searching
out the high ground in a flood are “just like me when you come around.” She’s
clearly never lived through Hurricane Katrina. Or I’ve never dated her
boyfriend. But she sings it like she means it on a track that feels a little
like Led Zeppelin’s take on bluegrass. Other highlights of the singer’s second
solo album range from the delicate grace of “The Garden” to the
bluegrass-flavored “Wind,” a bittersweet rambler’s lament. It’s just a shame
she isn’t friends with Robert Plant….


Standout Tracks: “Why is the Night Sad,” “High Ground” A. Watt


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