When: Fri., March 9, 8 p.m. 2018
Listening to Seattle singer-songwriter Bryan John Appleby’s sophomore LP, 2015’s The Narrow Valley, it’s hard not to think back to Sufjan Stevens’ once-lofty goal of producing an album inspired by the histories and culture of each of the 50 states. Stevens only got around to Illinois and Michigan, but Appleby’s album feels like a distant cousin: He has said the sounds and themes of the record are channeling the topography and ambience of the small California town where he grew up, and he’s approached that part of the West Coast with an almost cinematic grandeur. Or perhaps comparing it to a symphony is more appropriate: Awash in strings, brass and woodwinds, the album seems to be arranged into movements, bookended by an intro and outro and even breaking for an intermission in the middle. Sufjan would be proud.