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Thx for the ride: Lomelda drives into New Orleans

Hannah Read's outfit performs at Gasa Gasa Feb. 2

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Thx (Double Double Whammy), the lovely September LP by Lomelda, is one of those quiet fall-to-winter releases that benefits from the barren, hibernating landscape that is the January music calendar. Unassumingly intimate and diorama-small, it's largely the work of one person: Silsbee, Texas singer-songwriter Hannah Read, who wrote and produced the album (with her brother Tommy), performs most of the sparse instrumentation and sings like she's folding diary pages into paper sailboats and setting them afloat. Her voice, inquisitive and childlike, adopts the exhalation quality of a recorder when strained to the edges of her range, its pitch constantly fidgeting up and down, in and around the desired key, alighting on uncertain fermatas that can elicit shivers. Its concepts of travel and distance are spelled out explicitly — "Interstate Vision," "Nervous Driver," "From Here," "Out There" — but expressed implicitly. "Boy, could you hear out of the silence / My humming like a silhouette, your breathing like the horizon?" she creakily opens "Far Out." "Your voice of ash whispers from the car stereo," she slowly slaloms on "Out There," as if tracing the lines on a breath-fogged windowpane, before clearing the metaphoric air and addressing her subject directly: "Elliott, what have you done to us? / Elliott, what have you done?" The question is meant for the late Elliott Smith, another melodically gifted singer-songwriter who used revealing music to close the yawning gaps he felt between himself and everyone else. Read doesn't attempt an answer, letting the guitar and keys linger for a minute before going silent. New Holland and Harry Permezel open. Tickets $10 in advance, $12 day of show. 10:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2; Gasa Gasa, 4920 Freret St., (504) 338-3567; www.gasagasa.com.

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