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From a whisper to a, well, whisper: The truth is, Azure Ray doesn’t exactly cover a lot of vocal ground on its sophomore release, Burn and Shiver. Indeed, the Omaha, Neb., (by way of Athens, Ga.) duo sounds as if it had cut the album in a den of slumbering timberwolves. But oh what hushed beauty is contained in these 12 tracks, which Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor (both of Little Red Rocket and Now It’s Overhead) recorded under the watchful ear of Crooked Fingers’ Eric Bachmann. From the opening lines of “Favorite Cities” (“So it’s grey, well so are my favorite cities”), Azure Ray creates a mood that, although subdued, is never somnolent. The band has been attracting all kinds of attention—Fink and Taylor co-wrote and recorded a tune (“Great Escape”) with Moby for 18, and they’ve had songs featured on both (ohmygawd!) Felicity and (ohmyohmygawd!) Buffy the Vampire Slayer—and no wonder. Just as he does with Crooked Fingers, Bachmann conjures up otherworldly string arrangements and audio treatments that provide bewitching backdrops for Fink and Taylor’s ethereal vocals. But the album doesn’t sparkle from Bachmann’s skills alone; there isn’t a single bad cut on Burn and Shiver. From the perfect harmonizing and the Beatles-like string arrangements that illuminate “Seven Days” to the (very quietly) anthemic “How You Remember” to the mournful and mysterious “Your Weak Hands” (“You held my hand/Led me to the water/You pushed me/I went under”), Azure Ray creates songs that may seem all vapors, but would no doubt stand up beneath direct aerial bombardment. The band plays with Broken Spindles and its own side project, Now It’s Overhead, at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 667-7960. (Michael Little)