The sound on Faces in the Rocks seems to have sprouted effortlessly from a mountain spring or twisting root, nature is imbedded in every note and vocal flutter from Mariee Sioux on her first release. Sioux taught herself guitar and began adapting her poetry into song, repeating images of earth, body and spirit having them flow as one from track to track, such as on “Bundles” where we are cradled in Grizzly paws, clover stems, internal organs and shrouds of muscles from twins born wrapped together communicating the oneness of everything. Hailing from Nevada City, California, Sioux’s organic sound makes it easy to call this a roots/folk album but that misses the point of everything being roots/folk for Sioux.
There is a history, explored on “Two Tongues," that is omnipresent yet ever evolving. The tracks are basic and all repeat the same style with Sioux’s simple acoustic guitar supported by the Native American flutes of Gentle Thunder and occasional mandolins or cello’s. Sioux’s voice/lyrics; falsetto and whispering in varying stanzas reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, become hard-edged at times like on “Buried in Teeth” or yearning on the excellent “Friendboats”. Perhaps editing down the more sprawling tracks and a variation of style would benefit Sioux but the honest simplicity and natural grace make her Faces in the Rocks pure.