You shouldn't go another day without hearing "Women and Money" by Portland, Ore.-based John Heart Jackie. The title, which is also the title for the duo's 2009 EP, evokes a bad country song, but that's misleading. It's really a folk song with full, pretty vocals, sparkly finger-picking and candid lyrics like "I fear that the things that you got ain't the things I need to survive" and "If you're afraid to die, I don't blame you, you have nothing to run to."
There is no John or Jackie. Jennie Wayne and Peter Murray are the two musicians behind this project, and on their best songs they combine Townes Van Zandt's storytelling with the ambience of a hornless Beirut. "Careless Love" might have the most obvious lyrics, but with Wayne's sweet cracking vocals you'll want to play it in a grand old abandoned building just to hear her fill the space.
The Prince song "When You Were Mine" from the 1980 album Dirty Mind has been covered by tons of musicians including Cyndi Lauper, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Tegan and Sara, but John Heart Jackie makes it sound like the most magical soundtrack to a rainy day you've ever heard.
John Heart Jackie plays the Palace Thursday, Oct. 20, at 9 PM with Bittercrane. $5.