[15 June 2011]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
Erika Simonian and Steve Curtis work together as Little Silver on The Stolen Souvenir. They both play guitar, and they both sing quiet and sweetly. Together, they’ve created six dreamy folk songs that ripple off of each other and mesh into one nocturnal, hushed whole. There’s no doubt that what they do here is beautiful, from the opening line of “Sleep Til Morning”, where their voices rise in unison, to the pastoral weave of guitars on the closing title track, Simonian and Curtis prove themselves impressive singers and players, even if their approach is unassuming. It’s the kind of languid folk music that can pull you into its dreamy world; the energy levels stay low, but they aim for resonance in their stretched-out melodies. The duo’s take on “Goodnight Irene”—here titled “Irene, Goodnight”—may show the limitations of that approach, though. It has the same late-night quiet, the same deliberate pace, and the cutting lines of the song just don’t slice through their dream to hit with enough reality. As a live band, they play with drums and keys and bass, and that is also how they plan to record their next record. That could prove a great move, because while The Stolen Souvenir shows promising songwriting and impressive harmonies, it never quite distinguishes itself from the folk-duo pack.