People are complicated. Take Ann Szalda-Petree and Clark Grant, the whip-crack smart-asses of Blue Dream. Their eponymous album is awash in reverb-soaked guitar soundscapes undulating beneath ethereal multi-tracked vocals that can flatten out your blood pressure and help settle your chi. But then you're sideswiped by something like "Dog Song," the bizarre story of a "dead dog's wife" who dug up the skull of a blue healer to gnaw on to ease the pain of his loss.
The duo can play a sincere folk beauty like "Annie Taylor," with its earworm "rather be dead than poor" chorus, then turn around and try to keep a straight face while they ramble through "Fur Flying Furry," about a Sasquatch who loves a panda, although "she was just no good."
"Broken and Shattered," a waltz featuring the lustrous vocals of Eden Atwood, is the dazzling diamond in the belly button of this album. The first time I heard this song I played it three times in a row. Then I cried. Then I threw my guitar in the river.
"Eden made her voice sound like a flute," Ann told me, her eyes wide with disbelief. Take it from me, a split personality can make an artist's music more interesting.
Blue Dream plays an album release show at the Downtown Dance Collective Fri., Aug. 30, at 7 PM. $5.This story was updated Thursday, Aug. 29 to correct the spelling of Clark Grant's name.