Seattle's Kristina Speed combines Bjork's elfin phrasings with Regina Spektor's acrobatic stutters and Erykah Badu's chill-jazz cooing, silhouetting her versatile delivery against minimalist electronic backdrops. She stretches her elastic voice over steady, simple beats ("Real Change") and entirely self-contained symphonies ("Snow and Sirens," a charming 90-second ditty built on Speed's beat-boxing and multi-tracked harmonies). In concert, she stands alone with her synthesizer and iMac, playing songs from her upcoming EP, Invert, as well as Joni Mitchell and Jon Brion covers. After releasing Invert, Speed plans to start incorporating guitar, drums and other organic instruments into her live shows, so this could be one of her last strictly push-buttons-and-keys performances. Her stage set-up might seem stark, but Speed makes it feel appealingly intimate, using her warm, sprightly personality and endearing vocal quirks to draw in her audience.
Tue., June 17, 8 p.m., 2008