The Sandwitches' music could curdle blood and melt butter. For the past two years, the San Francisco trio has built its following through a combination of affecting lullabies and dissonant, jangly rock guitars. Between the droning, sing-you-to-sleep Duck Duck Goose EP and the fascinating full-length How to Make Ambient Sadcake, the band has come to occupy a quirky niche with material that always surprises.
But the group's uniqueness revolves around the spine-chilling vocal ranges of Heidi Alexander and Grace Cooper, both former members of The Fresh & Onlys. They run the gamut from piercing lead voices to deep, gravelly murmurs, recalling country divas and coyotes alike. With a genuinely but subtly experimental twist on older American standards, Cooper and Alexander shroud their traditional influences in a shadowy haze. In "Joe Says," their vocal lines take sharp twists and turns, dovetailing in flourishes both quaint and uncanny. All of the songs on their new album hold their own, and it's certainly The Sandwitches' most coherent and complete release yet. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.