Escondido, the duo of Jessica Maros and Tyler James, don't sound like your typical band to come out of Nashville. Given their sound, they would seem more at home coming from Tucson, Austin or even Santa Fe, with a vibe described by the Chicago-Sun Times as "Southwest fantasia." However, if we've learned anything about the pop era it is that music is the universal language, unimpeded by geography.
That's not to say that the rarified, country music-saturated essence of Nashville hasn't gotten into the duo's blood, as there is a distinctive echo of the glamorous, rhinestone-encrusted, 70s-era country queens present on their sophomore release, Walking with a Stranger. But there are also elements of dreamy psychedelia, driving rock hooks and, of course, the plaintive, high-lonesome atmosphere of dusty desert landscapes. It's a well-knit package, one that easily makes new fans with every listen.
-Eric J. Lawrence