Sometimes opposites attract, and sometimes they create havoc. This could be considered the theme for 2014’s Debutantes & Dealers, the debut full-length album from Seattle folk-rockers Vaudeville Etiquette.
“Brad [Laina] and I are really turned on by the notion of forcing a square peg in a round hole,” says Tayler Lynn, who shares singing and songwriting duties with Laina. “That’s what Debutantes & Dealers is about, and even the title itself, that idea of ‘What would happen if we pitted these two things against each other?’ Sometimes it will be beautiful; sometimes it will be riddled with conflict.”
One can certainly argue that there is even a third result to consider: that the songs themselves are beautifully conflicting. “Devil’s Daughter,” for example, combines ambling Americana tones with gospel-style vocals from Lynn and Laina as they sing about the actions of a murderously corrupt priest, and while “Red Harvest Moon” has a beautiful folk sensibility, its tale of a bootlegger killing his brother — a policeman — is haunting to say the least. Having two songwriters allows for multiple layers to be fleshed out in the band’s songs, something Lynn relishes.
“Blending multiple ideas and collaborating really tends to bring it all together, thematically,” she says. “Writing separately is a strength for us because we are able to explore different places that one writer alone, or a group collaborative, might not always get to. Brad tends to write more stories or allegories relating to his own life, but I tend to be more in your face about it, more autobiographical.”
Vaudeville Etiquette can approach a certain swinging, boot-stomping country-jazz sensibility (think L.A.’s He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister), with the help of bandmembers Matt Teske, Sander Vinberg and Bryce Gourley.
Vaudeville Etiquette performs with Boise’s Like A Rocket 8:30 pm Saturday, June 21, at Axe & Fiddle, Cottage Grove; $5. — Brian Palmer