Orenda Fink is one busy skirt. The Birmingham-born singer spent the first half of 2000 with fellow Alabama School of Fine Arts escapist Maria Taylor in the dream pop outfit Azure Ray. The stargazing duo cranked out three discs before disbanding in 2004, which didn’t seem to faze the Fink so much, as honey was preoccupied with her ensemble role in Athens Georgia singer/songwriter’s project Now It’s Overhead. After quietly upchucking the solo spurt called The Invisible Ones in 2005, Fink toked on some righteous smoke in the country of Haiti and once her delicate frame surrendered to a spiritual reverse, homegirl spun back to 2007 with a new vision in her artistic sights called Art In Manila.
Comprised of vagabonds kids from various Midwest outfits (The Anniversary, The Good Life, Dance Me Pregnant), Art In Manila is an extremely serene and gorgeous bed of shatterable sounds glued together by the long-lasting cement of Fink’s spotless voice for a framework similar to Mazzy Star, Bettie Serveert, or Gentle Waves. Fink’s voice is a squeezebox around the throat of anyone within earshot and the rhythm section assembled here has created a substantial playground for lady Orenda to frolic about and festoon through. At some points she does sound like that chick from Evanescence or Tori Amos, but don’t let that stop your debit card hands from purchasing this superb debut.
Set The Woods On Fire is the equivalent of endless time one waits after being intravenously shot with sodium thiopental, the anesthetic which puts convicted felons to sleep before a spike of pancuronium bromide, a muscle paralyzer, stops the body’s lungs from sucking in much needed oxygen. Once the terminal flow of potassium chloride forbids the heart from beating again, the traumatic result of anesthetic overdose with respiratory and cardiac arrest of an unconscious body is not only the standard routine of lethal injection executions in this country, but is the similar process one undertakes when floating towards the great blue sky along the musical trail paved by Art In Manila.