I imagine Orenda Fink to be the timid, polite, perhaps humorless type, one who sits in her basement recording space among friends and says, after experimenting with a few minor chords, Oh, that riff is sort of weird – let’s see what we can do with it. Maybe she even uses the word neat. But she writes a good folk song, and while the Southern Gothic thing is getting a bit tired, it’s been a pleasure to hear her quirks and watch her blossom since Azure Ray.

Ask the Night is sort of a concept album which first asks, “Why is the night sad?” and rounds itself out when the moon answers this question to the beat of a setting sun at album’s conclusion. The record’s not perfect – Isaac Brock’s angry lisp makes for an awkward backing vocal track on “High Ground,” and “The Garden” smacks of the Indigo Girls. (“Love and peace will fill your heart?” Really, now.) But there are some really lovely bluegrass touches, and the recordings themselves feel rather intimate, particularly when Fink is alone with her guitar.

Grade: B

Ask the Night is currently available.