Get local news delivered straight to your phone

We can't make City Paper without you

$
$
$

Your contribution is appreciated.

You are all alone. Your lover hasn’t called. It could be Christmas. You could have a vodka in hand. It’s the day after you tripped; you wake up and your town still looks like a dead end. If you’re Spinane Rebecca Gates, you’ve experienced all of these scenarios so much you’ve begun to sound like them. With her third album (minus drummer Scott Plouf), Arches and Aisles, she has perfected the art of heartbreak somewhere between Patsy and Leann, Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donnelly. Stuck in her bedroom, each of the 11 tunes opens up like a yawn—a yawn that comes from waiting—and ends in salt mists or angry fists. Her creamy voice melts into the mix or slips out of focus as if she’s singing through her lumpy pillow. Her guitar glides like fingernails down the break of an arm or the crash of a door. It’s all very intimate. Gates experiments a bit with electronica with the help of Tortoise’s John McEntire, but it doesn’t come off as trendy icing. Fake beats never sounded so lonely as on the cross-country lust of “Eleganza”; the organ frills really do blue the mood on several tracks. The album can be summed up on the aptly titled “Slide Your Ass,” a nose-to-nose, whispery lament urging her lover to “come on over/walk across the water.” Gates breathlessly sings that she’s made the trip, made the calls; finally, she just asks: “come a little closer.” We can at least press play again, put on headphones, and wait with her.

—Jason Cherkis