[SINGER-SONGWRITER] Into the Depths, the sophomore release by Portland singer-songwriter Karyn Ann Patridge, shows considerable growth from her confident but uneven debut, 2013's Accept Uncertainty. Patridge accompanies herself on piano and guitar, bringing varied textures to her songwriting. Sturdy and elastic, her voice best recalls Patty Griffin's emphatic, empathic singing, with a touch of Bonnie Raitt's sultrier vibe. It doesn't seem like she's consciously emulating those artists—she just might have the chops to one day join their ranks. Opener "Best Intentions" enters with brightly strummed acoustic guitar and skillfully recorded vocals, and producer Mark Bowden adds tasteful electric guitar lines that match Patridge's eloquent singing. Then, after a piano-vocal intro, the album's title song bursts into expansive, full-band production with a warm Tapestry vibe—a lush soundscape she hasn't explored before. When the album moves back into sparer textures, it feels slightly like retrenchment. There's no drop-off in quality, but once she's unveiled that large, full-color canvas, the more modest numbers seem like sketches by comparison. Perhaps this will prove a transitional collection, and Patridge will move further into the depths of more developed production next time out. Whatever path she chooses will be one worth following. JEFF ROSENBERG.
SEE IT: Karyn Ann plays the Secret Society, 116 NE Russell St., with Stephanie Scelza and Pretty Gritty, on Sunday, Sept. 20. 8 pm. $10. 21+.