Jenn Grant Orchestra for the Moon

Orchestra for the Moon is not a hip record. The clean production, the earthy earnestness, the reverence for traditionalism — none of these are hallmarks of what so many notorious indie rags cherish. Yet the Halifax chanteuse should probably feel glad that she’s free from the fickle clutches of the indie masses, as she has made a fine debut that portends well for a career of making timeless, emotive music. Orchestra is refreshing in its antique store feel — there’s none of the laptop amateurism or forced coquettishness that now so pollute the blogosphere. Instead, the record is gracefully shaped by such disparate sculptors as honky tonk, Jeff Buckley’s quavering croon and the sea-flecked sounds of the Halifax coffeehouse circuit. Yet what stands out the most is that peerless voice, one that the echoes of legendary Nashville belles cling to like smoke on curtains. If there are any complaints at all, it’s that even sincerity this endearing can weigh a little heavily after 13 songs. But this should not cloud the successful achievement of a difficult task: the minting of a debut that puts many others to shame, indie validation be damned. (Paris 1919, www.paris1919records.com) (Paris 1919)