Country music makes up a huge part of what's left of record sales. Gone are the days of prairie skirts, rhinestone leisure suits and Justin Roper boots; Armani tuxes and Jimmy Choos are now red carpet de rigeur. Pageant-pretty young female singers rule the country charts, the likes of Kellie Pickler, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift reigning supreme. But just as the singers are nearly indistinguishable, so is their music. Substance has given way to style. With The Old Believers, alt-country any way has both again.
Keeley Boyle and Nelson Kempf, Alaska natives now Portland-based and both just barely out of their teens, explore a variety of soundscapes on their latest release, Eight Golden Greats. They stretch their wings across long, winding vocal and instrumental plains, but always bringing it back home to a traditional, haunting Americana. They started the recording process in the tiny town of Athol, Idaho, in 2006 and finished in the northwestern metropolis of Portland in 2008. On Greats, a Sufjan Stevens-esque sensibility pushes in and out of the spaces between harmonicas, voice-benders, twangy guitars, a wide selection of percussion and jubilant trumpets, all of which is grounded by both Kempf's and Boyle's whispery voices, which sound much older than the people to whom they belong.
Boise Weekly's own Blake Green and his band Slow Moon open, and it should be the kind of show in which a Baby Phat track suit and a Western-cut shirt with pearl snaps are equally appropriate attire.
July 30, 9 p.m., $3. Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St., 208-343-0886.