Once upon a time …

Mascott, the one-woman band of ex-Michigan resident Kendall Jane Meade, is at its best a nighttime affair. Like a favorite collection of storybook-bound fantasies, the 10 tracks on Follow the Sound come off more like fairy tales than pop songs. Meade’s wispy voice is lilting and hopeful, full of wide- and wild-eyed anticipation for knights in shining armor, for nights as shining, star-crossed lovers.

And it’s difficult to argue with her when she makes romance (long-gone or longed-for) sound so achingly beautiful on tracks like “Costume Ball” and “Yellow Room.” Recalling the teary ’n’ bleary-eyed lullabies of the Softies in all their forlorn, lovelorn glory, Mascott’s sparse songs resonate like half-remembered secrets the morning after. “I’ll be fine if I close my eyes,” she sings with relief, knowing dreams always offer hope, even when the day-to-day doesn’t.

Which is ultimately why Mascott’s first full-length album is so moving. Not only does Meade sing about these emotions, she evokes them as well. With both her voice and shimmering-sea instrumentation, Meade and her collaborators (including Stars, Sally Timms and Jim O’Rourke, among others) have created a dream-pop fantasia deserving of any fairy-tale ending.

Jimmy Draper writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].

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