Marc Manning, “The Woods” from Air in the Trees (Tract Records)
The haunting high range of Portland-based musician Marc Manning’s vocals, coupled with the rustic production quality of his most recent EP, Air in the Trees, gives the record a feeling of polite distance and mild inaccessibility. The music is thread together in a way that lets it exist all around you and nowhere around you at the same time, like a hovering blanket. Track four, “The Woods,” is a perfect example of Manning’s blanket of sound, with its hollow, subtle whistling behind the distorted guitar and bleeding vocals. Beyond being incredibly beautiful, this song seems to emerge from the organic spaces of the Northwest. If I believed in heart strings, I would tell you that Manning is pulling every one of them, collectively, like an orchestra. Instead, I will just say that this song makes me want to walk alone until I stop crying. About what, you ask? I’m not sure.