No surprise that classically trained violist Marla Hansen would have the same ear for splendid arrangements as her past employers Sufjan Stevens and My Brightest Diamond. Hansen’s debut EP, Wedding Day
, leavens her sweet batch of acoustic folk songs, most plucked in Appalachian pizzicato on her viola, with a bevy of all-natural instrumentation. Tastefully placed strings, accordion, guitar and piano (played by Stevens himself) elevate Hansen’s gleaming melodies.
So it’s too bad that she mostly sticks to a timid, creaky indie voice, especially since she sounds so gorgeous when she soars into her upper register, as on the meditative “Talk to Me.” Duets with Stevens and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond add touches of brightness, but otherwise Hansen’s introverted vocal style prevents her songs from taking off the way they deserve.