Braden Dotson (lead singer of Asheville’s Antique Firearms) has a voice that makes you go, “Whoa, who’s that?” It’s a breathy rasp, sore and rough, sometimes a nasal wheeze and sometimes a forced yowl — but it’s also compelling and dreamy, swooning into an easy falsetto for just a note or two, here and there.
The band is good, too. Solid, spare, a perfect backdrop of muted tones and haunting melodies, so moody and aloof that its as much atmosphere as song. But that doesn’t mean that Antique Firearms is the sort of band you only listen to with headphones, or on a Sunday morning or after a breakup.
So far the band just has one album — a self-titled debut from a year ago. Check it out here. Two standouts on that collection are the somber almost-waltz “Carolina” (which nods to Americana and country rock while bypassing both genres in an indie-rock/folk-noir cloud of dust), and the achingly lush “Crooked Grin.”
“Two Sets of Headphones” builds off similar themes, leading in with the nostalgia and firefly flicker of a Sixpence None the Richer hit, and then adding slow-burn riffs of longing, a pulse-quick drum beat and … and what? Something scary but exciting. A train wreck, a precipice, a dream of love half-recalled.
Antique Firearms headlines Asheville Music Hall on Saturday, April 28. Shorty Can’t Eat Books opens. 10 p.m., $6 in advance or $8 day of show. Xpress will give away a pair of tickets on Friday via Facebook.
Watch the band perform “Crooked Grin” here: