With her folksy vocals, bright lyricism and flirtation with melancholy/disillusionment, songwriter Nika Aila States evokes Joni Mitchell in the aftermath of her 1970 trip to Europe. And while Mitchell was mourning the eclipse of the ‘60s utopian spirit, States is impacted by a contemporary calamity; her social media output contains repeated references to the perils of climate change. Performing as Red Steppes, States also shares with the musical icon an infatuation with the geographic wonder that is California, a fact that no doubt bears on her climate anxiety. But as is especially evident in her newly released sophomore album Arcs, States has learned enough about emotional uncertainty to help shepherd others through turmoil. In “Trouble,” she sings, “Fathom for fathom/ there are some faults so deep you don’t map them/ but go slow; get past them/so low, so long, but still you’ll last the distance. [AS]

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  • Occurred Friday, June 14th, 2019 @ 7:30 pm

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