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Marie/Lepanto

  • Kiki's House of Righteous Music 1326 MacArthur Road Madison, WI, 53714 United States (map)
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Marie/Lepanto is a new-ish collaboration between Will Johnson, best known for leading the Texas band Centro-Matic, and Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster, of Mississippi band Water Liars. Both singer-songwriters' previous work tends to build on a nuanced, emotionally conflicted blend of the rugged and the tender, balancing lots of open and contemplative space with lots of warmly overdriven guitar. The first Marie/Lepanto album, this year's Tenkiller, finds Johnson and Kinkel-Schuster's styles bleeding together pretty easily, with the two writing together, playing all the instruments, and sharing lead-vocal duties. There's still plenty of room for their individual stamps—you could easily convince a Centro-Matic fan (me included) that the bittersweet, propulsive "Inverness" is a Centro-Matic song, and Johnson's husky baritone croon contrasts nicely with Kinkel-Schuster's higher, more yearning vocals. Both artists have explored more sparse territory in their solo work, and that too makes for some natural affinity, especially on the album's bleak title track. The duo play this Madison show at Kiki's House Of Righteous Music, a cozy basement venue operated by local music superfan Kiki Schueler. —Scott Gordon