Leave the map behind

Moviola’s Rumors of the Faithful gives off a glow that evokes the places you pass when you’re traveling that don’t serve your hierarchy of immediate gas/food/lodging needs, but nevertheless make you wish you needed gas/food/lodging. It’s distinctly landlocked, with more than a trace of rural wistfulness and the twang that’s associated with country music. It reminds you that you take the people you’ve met to the places you’re yet to go.

Yeah, that’s one of the crucial things music’s supposed to do, but it’s what precious little music these days actually does. Now, whether you know or not that Moviola is from Columbus, Ohio before you form this opinion is really irrelevant. The band’s miniworks of tender, intimate “pop” music are touched with such an attention to detail that you’ll chuck any preconceived notions right out the window with so many unwanted old shirts, knickknacks and other bits of your personal flotsam from the attic. Then you’ll pack to go anywhere a tank of gas will take you, radio barely tuned to an AM station, internal compass pointed who-cares-where.

Rumors of the Faithful asks you to look again even if you don’t stay too long. The rustic, homemade cuts are like the leaf marks on the sidewalk — ephemeral enough that a good rain will wash them away, but catchy enough that you’ll think they’ve been part of your daily walk to the store for years.

The story is simple: Four gents, four songwriters, four voices. Guitar (electric, acoustic, slide, otherwise), drums, bass, Rhodes organ, banjo. What holds it all together is the just-obtuse-enough storytelling. Here’s one from the title track: “Don’t you know it ain’t no complicated matter/It’s just the way it should have been.”

E-mail Chris Handyside at [email protected].

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