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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at and a music writer for and the Portland Press Herald. She has been obsessed with - and inspired by - music since she listened to Monkees records borrowed from the town library when she was six years old. She bought her first Rolling Stones record at a flea market when she was in 7th grade and discovered David Bowie a year later. She's a HUGE fan of the local music scene and covers it along with national musical happenings in her "Face the Music" column and with artist interviews that appear in print in the Portland Press Herald and online at You'll also find her out and about absorbing live music like a sponge and roaming around local record shops and flea markets. Aimsel is also the host of Music from 207 on 98.9 WCLZ and appears monthly on the News Center Maine TV show “207” to talk of course.

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Arts & Entertainment with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: June 10, 2015

Fall in love with Tiny Deaths this Thursday at Empire in Portland

Tiny Deaths is the duo of Claire de Lune and Grant Cutler, but de Lune will be performing solo at Empire in Portland.

Tiny Deaths is the duo of Claire de Lune and Grant Cutler, but de Lune will be performing solo at Empire in Portland. Photo Credit Zoe Prinds.


Even if you doubt love at first sight when it involves another human being, perhaps you can be swayed when it comes to music. It was love at first listen when an email arrived a few weeks ago about a band called Tiny Deaths.

Within said email was a link to one lone song. Headphones were donned, and a mouse click later a YouTube clip appeared for the song “Ocean.” The effect was immediate and arresting, leading to a deep dive into the band’s five-song EP on Spotify. It’s a synth-pop masterpiece. Singer Claire de Lune’s vocals are gush-inducing with an exquisite, expressive sound that you half expect to be disembodied from any mortal soul.

Set against big synths and drum beats, “Ocean” is destined to make it to my end-of-the-year favorite song list. “You had me just where you wanted me. But it was just where I wanted to be. And we can go slow …”

Hear for yourself:

The next phase of my Tiny Deaths fixation came courtesy of “The Words.” “Did the words come first or did I come first? I gotta know.” The remaining songs on the EP are just as mesmerizing, so here’s hoping the planets align for a full-length record sooner rather than later. Tiny Deaths, from Minneapolis, is essentially the duo of de Lune and Grant Cutler, though de Lune will be flying solo at the Portland show.

I, for one, can’t wait to see how the Tiny Deaths sound translates live. Expect a late night with two other acts on the bill, but also expect to leave with zero regrets.

Tiny Deaths with Sea Level and Bright Boy, 10 p.m. Thursday, Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland, $8, 21-plus;


Singer-songwriter Mirah will be at SPACE Gallery in Portland on Saturday.

Singer-songwriter Mirah will be at SPACE Gallery in Portland on Saturday.

MIRAH YOM TOV ZEITLYN has released more than a dozen solo and collaborations on Washington-based labels K Records and Kill Rock Stars, among others. Her latest album is last year’s “Changing Light.” After listening to the lovely “No Direction Home,” my curiosity was piqued. The song started almost dirge-like, with quiet horns soon joined Mirah’s beauteous voice, piano and percussion. “I used to walk through your room, cause you liked it in the light. My skin always felt just right. So you told me, I was the only.”

Maine folk quintet Plains will play as well, with a set that surely will include songs from its latest record, “Confirm Reservation.” Head here to hear the gentle, gorgeous “Forgetful(waves)”: Electro-pop from Kid in the Attic will open the show.

Mirah with Plains and Kid in the Attic, 8 p.m. Saturday, SPACE Gallery, 538 Congress St., Portland, $10 in advance, $12 at the door, all ages;

NOTHING GOES BETTER with Sicilian street food than ’90s R&B covers. I partook of both last Wednesday night. Think TLC and En Vogue and you’ll have an idea of the kind of jams that will be served up alongside hand slabs every Wednesday night all summer long. No Diggity is a supergroup that includes Kenya Hall, Kristina Kentigian, Megan Jo Wilson, Jamie Colpoys, Dan Capaldi, Chas Lester and Jay Caron. Wait until you hear Hall, Kentigian, Colpoys and Wilson sing. Not to mention Wilson’s righteous bass lines. Whoa nelly! These ladies – and fellas – are all about bringing back the best of the ’90s, and if the debut night of the series was any indication, this is a dance party that’s gonna grow in leaps and bounds.

No Diggity, 9 p.m. Wednesdays, Slab, 25 Preble St., Portland, no cover;


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