If you listen closely, the first voice you'll hear on Concha, the sprightly eight-song gem from Organos, is founder Maria Albani speaking, not singing. "Here," she says about five seconds in, signaling the moment in which the simple beat widens and her broad bass tone falls into place.
That command is an appropriate place to start with regard to Albani, a longtime local-band role player whose first outing as a frontwoman rendered an outfit that frankly doesn't sound like many others. Sure, there are hints of indie rock touchstones buried within these undeniable tunes. "Same Eyes," for instance, opens with the dead-eyed throb of Slint, while "It'll Never Come" wiggles and bounces like a reserved interpretation of The Pixies. But Albani fits eight songs into less than 19 minutes, a proper indication that her propensity for unorthodox song structures yields short and shifty tunes. The insomniac "Fits & Fears" barely breaks the minute mark, as Albani shoots through one tense verse over an acoustic guitar and a growing electric din without pause. The wonderfully woozy "My Bird" takes the shapes of waves, with Albani's voice slipping and sliding through a web of guitar and drums. There's not really a chorus, just an endless verse that's still somehow memorable.
That quality—catchy songs from the strangest sources—is the primary mainstay of Concha. Albani, after all, trades the affability of her debut for some truly vengeful words, like the parenthood abdication of "Same Eyes" or the adulthood acquiescence of "At the End of the Ride." Epitomized by the handclaps-and-harmonies stunner "Side Girl," these songs are generally built upward from the rhythm, meaning that guitars and ukuleles and glockenspiels are used as accents and textures, not anchors. Albani has been in and remains in bands that write from a more customary approach. Organos and Concha are happily different both in source and sound, offering a humbly memorable reappraisal of the limits of pop.