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Natalie Jane Hill, 'Orb Weaver'

Nature opens your eyes and aura to possibility and memory, if only you let it. We get caught in the artificial webs of our own making, unaware of creation's gifts like "an orb weaver," as Natalie Jane Hill names them, "hanging on a dew-covered web." The Austin-based singer-songwriter quickly follows last year's Azalea with Solely, a quiet expansion of her universe that, as heard on "Orb Weaver," features delicately ornate pedal steel and cello that gently eddies around a whitewater of finger-picked guitar. Spiders are connectors across time and feeling, their webs sensitive to touch, yet full of life. Seeing that creature gives Hill comfort — whose voice is soft and low, yet seeking — but also the pangs of a past relationship, comparing that loss to "a creek that I'm just getting to know."

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