Azure Ray speaks to souls who find tear-inducing transcendence in afternoon tea, Cat Power and Bronte; novels. In other words, Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor emote lacy poetry with intuitive grace as if they were speaking a secret language only the best of female friends understand. The pair achieve this synergy with a potent combination of honey-smooth vocals (think a more alert Hope Sandoval or a mousier Chan Marshall) and bewitching, slo-core songs that incorporate piano, melodica, horns and pedal steel. Originally based in Athens, Georgia, Azure Ray traded in that indie hotbed for another: Omaha (and its hometown Saddle Creek label). Still, not even this geographical and recording shift -- or a collaboration with Moby on his lukewarm 18
-- could diminish the delicate beauty of this duo's work.