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Opera Folk

Phoebe Blume
Phoebe Blume

Singer-songwriter Phoebe Blume offers an eerily breathtaking setting — much like this winter itself — in her dark and moody oeuvre. 

“I don’t have a choice. I’m definitely dark,” Blume says. “But that is my happy; that’s my light. It’s a very honest approach that I take, which is just the essence of who I am.”

Blume, local to Eugene, followed in the footsteps of her musician father and often sang (playfully) in his band as a child. By 19, she was taking private opera lessons, brooding the whole way. “My dad tells me I’m a major chorus in a minor key,” she says.

Her weapons of choice are a piano and her versatile vocals, coarse yet delicate. She is drawn to themes of sadness and mystery, often creating a magical setting in her lyrics, amplified by her opera-trained pipes. 

“There are points in certain songs when I bring that vocal quality into it,” Blume says. She notes that her music “is still really traditional, but bringing that voice adds in a different dreaminess.”

Opera is Blume’s only professionally trained skill and she’s had to teach herself everything from playing the piano to mixing her past three albums. “I’m not some kind of maestro, but you know, I get through it,” she laughs. 

Now on her fourth album, Switches and Ashes, she offers her audience a more refined and acoustic twist on her classically dark sound. In addition to her Dec. 29 performance, mark your calendars for Blume’s Jan. 15 CD release party with local musician Tyler Morin at Oregon Contemporary Theatre.

Ellis Moore joins Phoebe Blume 9 pm Thursday, Dec. 29, at Sam Bond’s Garage; $3-$5, 21-plus. — Kelsey Anne Rankin