Tom Brosseau's voice a little shaky, sincere but never saccharine is an affecting thing that pulls you in the way teacher whispers to capture children's attention. Brosseau's new Posthumous Success, out in June on Fatcat, is a deceptively plainspoken affair of ruminations on the ups and downs of life. His folky-blues acoustic palette owes much to his early life on the wide plains of North Dakota. Like a good book or movie, the unadorned sentimentality of Brosseau's songs creates a terrain of far denser proportions. Brosseau says he's guided by the spirits of the great literary figures of the 20th century, but the soundtracks to silver-screen blockbusters moved him just as much. Thus he's always stood apart as a singer-songwriter, as consumed with mood-altering atmosphere as he is with your deeper lyrical content, a predisposition given blurry focus on Posthumous's intriguing instrumental interludes of spidery banjo lace and hovering voice, jew's harp and silvery strings. It's a fascinating carpet of sound, and subtly so wholly in tune with Brosseau's North American dreams. Arrive in time to experience Dusseldorf's prepared-piano minimalist Hauschka, a.k.a. Volker Bertelmann.
Thu., May 7, 8 p.m., 2009