+/- New Record, Tour Hits Columbus

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Members of +/- {Plus/Minus} have a pretty well established track record of making delicate, sometimes somber but rather beautiful pop songs. Two of the three, James Baluyut and Patrick Ramos, were part of the acclaimed but extinct Versus, and they continue their habit of tenderly sung vocals concerning the often not so tender aspects of a relationship. Setting the current band apart from prior work is the addition of both Chris Deaner and a decidedly more electronic slant to the songs. While not a huge departure from the 2003 You Are Here album, this electronic influence seems particularly apparent on the recently released Let’s Build A Fire (Absolutely Kosher), where quiet moments are interrupted with patches of abrasive fuzz or skips. The combination of the fragile singing and the electronic dithering create a disquieting, but not unpleasant, imbalance that keeps things dynamic and interesting. Upon first listen, the injection of artificial off-tempo noises and hiss seems harsh and surprising, and has the appearance of interrupting an otherwise perfectly good sad lament. After a listen or two however, their inclusion becomes part of the +/- landscape, which is the rolling terrain of love and intimacy.

They will be playing Sunday, March 11th at Andyman’s Treehouse. Joining them on the bill will be a couple of guys that know their way around a tender song or two as well- the always fabulous Eric Metronome (on donewawiting.com’s Sunken Treasure Label), and Mr. Band-to-Watch guy with no band, singer-songwriter Blake Miller. Music starts at 10PM.

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