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Aimsel Ponti

Aimsel Ponti is a Content Producer at MaineToday.com and a music writer for MaineToday.com 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 Mainetoday.com. 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 about...music of course.

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Arts & Entertainment with Aimsel Ponti
Posted: September 1, 2015

Hear the healing sounds of Weyes Blood at SPACE on Saturday

Weyes Blood, aka Natalie Mering, will perform tunes from her new EP, “Cardamom Times,” at SPACE in Portland on Saturday.

Weyes Blood, aka Natalie Mering, will perform tunes from her new EP, “Cardamom Times,” at SPACE in Portland on Saturday.

Don’t you want to just lie back sometimes and let music wash over you like a healing balm of sound? At the moment, this need is being taken care of by Weyes Blood’s new EP, “Cardamom Times.”

Weyes Blood is the moniker of Natalie Mering, a New Yorker who will be performing solo in Portland on Saturday night. The first single, “Cardamom,” is a dreamy, gentle song, and Mering’s vocals are both arresting and consolatory. “Do you find what I do kinda cool? Would we last a minute or two?” is asked in a bed of acoustic guitar where the covers are turned back and a flute slides into the song. I’m reminded of the late British folk singer Sandy Denny and the band Renaissance’s singer Annie Haslam.

The other three songs on “Cardamom Times” are just as intriguing. Mering’s voice rises and falls like the tide on “Maybe Love,” as she questions the parameters of a friendship. “Take You There,” has a mystical feel to it, with a lengthy instrumental intro and a track length just under eight minutes. This one drew me into a tight embrace and held me close thanks to Mering’s blissful voice and soul-permeating keys. When the song ended I had a few moments of not quite knowing what to do, other than sit, enveloped in the afterglow of eight exquisite minutes where nothing mattered but what was pouring out of my headphones.

Listen to “Cardamom Times” and float away to a happy place:

The journey ended with “In the Beginning.” “I’m still learning to be free and not so somber/every night I stay up a little longer searching on that field of stars/do you know who you are?” sings Mering at a pace that allows for hanging on every word and thought.

I finished my listening session smiling in the knowledge that Weyes Blood also released a full-length record called “The Innocents” last year, and an EP before that. The anticipation of hearing these other songs is downright joyful.

The other headliner of this show is folk singer-songwriter Kyle Field. Performing under the name Little Wings, he started dropping CDs 15 years ago, and the latest is “Explains.” A visit to Spotify revealed several songs by Little Wings. I gave my attention to “By Now” and “Blade of Grass” from “Explains.” The dulcet sounds of the acoustic and slide guitar, percussion, piano and Field’s voice revealed a level of honesty that’s right up my alley.

Weyes Blood & Little Wings with Caethua and Colby Nathan. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, SPACE, 538 Congress St., Portland. $8 in advance, $10 at the door, all ages. space538.org

CONGRATS TO the progressive rock band Sunrunner on the release of their third full-length record, “Heliodromus.” It drops on Tuesday, but the party is on Saturday night at Empire where copies surely will be on hand.

You don’t have to be into metal music to appreciate this band. The title track is 21 minutes long, and over the course of the record you’ll hear flute, violin and certainly guitars.

Sunrunner formed in 2007 and is Joe Martignetto on electric and acoustic guitar, bouzouki and backing vocals, Ted MacInnes on drums, percussions and vocals, Douglas Porter on guitar, Frank Navarro on bass and acoustic guitar, David Joy on lead vocals, bass and trombone and Erik Neilson on acoustic and electric guitar, baritone ukulele and vocals.

On the band’s Facebook page they posted a trailer video for the album that provides an aural overview of “Heliodromus.” Some of what I heard was downright mellow and other times face-melting heavy. It was a truly diverse mix of sounds. If your musical tastes gravitate towards heavy on the spectrum, go see this band. And if you’re not sure what you like, Sunrunner will surely put on a hell of show. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sunrunner CD release party with El Malo & Capture the Sun. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Empire, 575 Congress St., Portland. $8, 21-plus. portlandempire.com

More music this weekend: Suzy Bogguss, Jo Dee Messina & Eilen Jewell

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