Prepare to be smitten. Relative newcomers Great Wilderness are releasing their Rest EP this evening, and it's as strong a debut recording as you are likely to hear for quite some time. Produced by Victor Paul Nash (Point Juncture, WA), the six-song recording is compiled of texturally flawless folk songs anchored by the feathery soft vocals of singers Jamie McMullen and Emily Wilder. The confessionary 'Helium' centers around the creeping violin of Laura Kucera, yet is neatly hemmed in by the song's doomed chorus ('fire eats away my heart, fire eats away my mind') and gradual descent into silence. Much like the opening notes of our introduction to Laura Gibson on 2006's If You Come to Greet Me, there is an instant comfort and ease to Rest, a natural beginning of what is likely to be a long, fruitful relationship between both artist and fan. Lucky us. EZRA ACE CARAEFF There is a band in our midst that has all the makings of excellence, and most people don't even know it yet. But they will. Great Wilderness formed this year in the style of an indie-rock tribe aesthetic-think Arcade Fire or Blind Pilot-with five members of Portland's young, beautiful, and flannel-clad. The group is anchored by the talents of a trio of ladies, including the achingly sweet and clear vocals of Emily Wilder, vocals and percussion from Jamie McMullen, plus Laura Kucera on violin and cello-those magical instruments that so deftly turn a regular song into a mystical one. With their powers combined, the Great Wilderness effect is that of a family making music together in their living room-which we as the public are lucky enough to be able to listen in on. --- Portland Mercury.