Tracy Jane Comer, Dave Schindele and Nancy Rost have teamed up to make the most creative concept album to come out of Madison so far this year.
Likely Stories is a collection of nine musical tales making up three rounds of sonic turn-taking by the songwriters. It's a structure that highlights the stylistic breadth of the record.
Schindele's acoustic piano is dreamy, rumbling with restlessness on "A Matter of Time." Later, he employs Comer's brooding cello on "Nicole." That track is an odd but gorgeous prayer for Nicole Kidman: "Hope there's a there for you Nicole / Without a role, it's just you and your soul cast together."
Rost's jazzy arrangements are featured in "Golden Gate," about San Francisco suicide jumpers. Comer's "Yellow Bike" is pure folk charm, looking back on a poor but happy childhood in a seaside town.
The album's execution ultimately fulfills the ambitious concept, making Stories a local release to be reckoned with.