There's a certain AM radio quality to the folk stylings of Tina and Her Pony. It's soft around the edges, and like the Appalachian music that inspired it and the deserts of New Mexico that now house it, it's occasionally desolate. The lady duo's debut album is an old take on an old sound, but the lyrics feel genuine and the melodies linger in your brain longer than you'd think from first listen.
"Ana Bai" really gets me, and not just for cellist and singer Quetzal Jordan really filling out the low end with a full voice you don't normally associate with strings. For most of the album, Tina Collins leads with the higher notes and any number of stringed instruments, but the balance with Jordan is striking. "Winter in the West," one of the more rollicking numbers, really pushes the two-part bluegrass harmony at least an octave and a half apart. Some tracks fit the normal pattern of "Americana," but most differ enough to make it worth several listens.
Tina and Her Pony play the Top Hat Thu., June 13, at 6 PM. Free.