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Abby Payne

Oh what a chore it can to sift through indie-rock bands these days. The internet is saturated with Broken Social Scene wannabes and Matt & Kim twins, so how does one decide who to concentrate on?  If you’re anything like me you’ll give an indie rock track about 10-15 seconds, wait until the vocals come in and make your decision. Click, next band please. Hopefully whoever you’re listening to put their best song up first on their Myspace player… It’s certainly true that some of the best music in the world isn’t instantly appealing and takes a degree of commitment from the listener, but indie rock is a flaky beast. Sometimes you’ll strike independently signed gold though. Case in point: Brooklyn based indie rock scarlet and former UB student Abby Payne. Her sound is a familiar one; placid, beautiful vocals matched with bass driven, piano-rock melodies. It’s been done before by artists like Feist, who did it really well throughout the 2000’s, and she sat atop the shoulders of artists like Fionna Apple and Regina Spektor. Now Payne sits atop their shoulders, but unfortunately for her, thousands of less talented imposters sit beside her. But Payne breaks through with tracks like “The Prophet” from her latest five song EP, Sasquatch, or “Little Lotus,” with it’s perky brass arrangements and sultry, yet bouncing vocals, from her 2008 EP In A Pretty Box. Payne refuses to be put in that box though. Check Abby out when she returns to Buffalo on Saturday (March 26) to provide some dinner music at Merge Restaurant. Stream both of her albums for free at her website

—cory perla