Staff Pick: Old Hundred spin-off Solitaires no longer going it alone

Joel Oliphint
Courtesy Solitaires

Back in January of 2009, Nate Gelinas arrived in Columbus from Massachusetts, and by April he had channeled those feelings of displacement into songs like "Mayflies," "East Town" and "Hollows." Even though Gelinas played guitar, mandolin and keys in folk-rock experimentalists Old Hundred (a band he said is "on a bit of a hiatus"), the songs didn't quite fit in the Blake Skidmore-led band. But Gelinas never discarded them.

Over the years, Gelinas recorded the tunes himself at home and eventually dubbed his one-man-band Solitaires. On Saturday, June 18, Solitaires will release its debut album,Southcoast, a record that's strong enough to elevate this band beyond side-project status. Gelinas uses Americana imagery you've probably heard before (crows, Junebugs, rusted weathervanes, the devil) but deploys it in creative ways. His velvety vocals flow easily through these artfully arranged songs, and with a fullness that wasn't always apparent in Old Hundred.

And just like he did as part of Old Hundred, Gelinas isn't afraid to use folk songs as a launching pad for other, more diverse sounds. A wall of distortion creeps into "East Town," then fades out just as quickly, but the punctuation lingers. That collage of sounds givesSouthcoast an excitement that separates Gelinas from the typical open-mic acoustic picker.

Solitaires also recently became much less solitary, adding Old Hundred's Hal Hixson (bass) and Jon Helm (guitar), plus Ryan Stolte-Sawa (Flotation Walls) on keys and Jonny Barton (the Ridges) on drums.

Brothers Drake

9 p.m. Saturday,

June 18

26 E. Fifth Ave.,

Short North


Jesse Remnant, Campdogzz