If the purpose of “Grand Scheme” is be the flame to the listener moth, the plan works. The tune opens Putting on Airs, the recent release from Erin Rae, inviting in with sharp-edged strums, dreamscape vocals and percussion bombs as it wraps organ chords around the melody to trigger addiction to the cut. The combination of Erin Rae’s seductive voice and a musical backing that supports with quiet majesty separates Putting on Airs from a sea of sonic soundalikes. Erin Rae harnesses the elements, a musical airstream raising up “Wild Blue Wind” while thundering rolls of troublesome thoughts tumble with the rhythms of “Bad Mind” and shaky guitar chords are strewn as a red carpet for “Mississippi Queen” as Putting on Airs rides an island pedal steel breeze into the slow spinning title track.
Choosing Wisconsin in the dead of winter, Erin Rae and bandmates recorded Putting on Airs at The Refuge. Run by Cory Chisel and Adriel Denae, the Appleton, WI former Franciscan monastery provided cavernous ceilings that allowed the ephemeral sonics of Erin Rae to rise and fill the space. Sound billows like clouds on “Can’t Cut Loose” as Putting on Airs hushes the playing for the confessions of “Pretend” and sinks into distortion for the memories of “Like the First Time” while Erin Rae sings over revolving rhythmic vibrations rising like summer heat waves in “June Bug” and makes plans for a good life in “Love Like Before”
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