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Escondido Play the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday

June 9th, 2016

Multi-instrumentalist and zinger-songwriter Tyler James grew up in Iowa and did time with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros before settling down in Nashville, where he met another singer-songwriter, Vancouver’s Jessica Maros. They teamed up to form Escondido and then recorded their debut full-length, The Ghost of Escondido (stream it below), in just one day. It arrived in 2013 and earned plenty of praise. “This album shimmers like heat radiating off the pavement in the desert; it’s out-of-time, out-of-place, a panoramic pastiche of a forgotten West that exists partially on vinyl and partially on celluloid,” according to AllMusic. “Any sense of pretension is scuttled by Escondido’s choice to record live, which gives the album air and grit, weighing it down when it threatens to float away and giving it mystery when things get perhaps a bit too authentic.” Escondido (above, performing “Try” for KCRW FM) released their second full-length, Walking with a Stranger (stream it below), earlier this year. Glide magazine proclaims that they “soar with dense, layered arrangements.” And furthermore: “The ultimate result is an album that exudes both warmth and circumspect, weight and pretext. Yet it doesn’t get bogged down by its own importance either. It’s substantive to be sure, but it’s still the kind of record that can entertain at a party when the guests arrive, and keep the mood elevated until the company finally takes its leave.” And as good as their recorded material is, Maros and James are even better live. So go see them play the early show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night.