Like a lot of kids who grew up making music in the Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie's Sandy Davis started out in a ska band. But those who may have seen her old high school group at Club Crannell way back when didn't realize they were witnessing the birth of one of the most talented treasures of the most fertile music scene in New Paltz since the mid '90s. Working under the nom de plume Pecas, this economics graduate from SUNY and former bassist for Breakfast in Fur shines on her excellent debut, Dwelling, an album that fully showcases Davis's range not only as a songwriter but as a musician as well.
Though she does invite some of her friends to play here and there on this eight-song set—guitarist Mike Hollis and drummer Joe Ruotolo of Blue Museum on "Dear Ghost" and In the Kitchen's Roger LaRochelle on drums for "Keeper"—it's Davis's profound ability to conjure up these dreamy, Julee Cruise-by-way-of-Beach House swirls of melody that carries the day here. The instrumental "When You Find Me" features her imaginative utilization of a playground field recording, and the old piano she's playing underneath her 4AD-esque coo elsewhere adds atmosphere. Here's hoping some of these outside tastemakers itching to pick from the vine of the bountiful Ulster County indie-pop circuit have an act as deserving as Pecas on their radar. Pecas.bandcamp.com.