[DIY FOLK] At Dub Narcotic Studios in Olympia, less is more. Calvin Johnson's audio office is a place for artists to bask in their idiosyncrasies, and it's a fitting context for Portland's J. Han, who plays bony DIY folk as Cotton. The White Eagle is a sparse and daydreamy sort of record, made up of two-minute-plus vignettes too brittle for a big studio. Built primarily around an acoustic guitar and Casio riffs, Cotton's newest work is honest, impure and playful. The subject matter strays from love and mortality to farts and weed, and it's as impulsive and erratic as a conversation around a campfire. Opening track "Seasons of the Heart" feels like a Woody Guthrie tune, while "Green" touts a whimsical, Ween-ish kind of vibe. Highlights "Lilium" and "Knot" demonstrate Han's ability to uproot four-chord country waltzes and, with the help of his expressive vocals, arrive on a different plane. It's an extremely intriguing and downright human take on modern folk.
SEE IT: Cotton plays White Eagle Saloon, 836 N Russell St., with Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat and Raymond Anderson, on Sunday, Dec. 14. 7 pm. Free. 21+.