Sunday Iris

If you’ve spent much time paying attention to music in Chico, chances are you’ve come across Dave Elke or Lisa Valentine. Recently, the two longtime staples of the scene have teamed up as a power duo dubbed Sunday Iris. While both have musically leaned more toward jazz and soul, respectively, in past projects, this new endeavor embodies a more simplified, Americana vibe. The eponymous debut album stays fairly bare bones, with Elke’s finger-picked acoustic beds and Valentine’s lush, folky vocals. Tunes like “Wanderer” bring in some minimal cello swells and “I Am Safe” has a little bit of upright bass underbelly, but for the most part the emphasis is on intimate arrangements. On “Turning Into Love,” Elke and Valentine balance a stripped-down delicacy with a pop sing-along feel via the breezy chorus. At times, Valentine’s vocals take on that sweet clarity akin to folk artists like Patty Griffin, but her power comes from long vibrato-inflected phrasings. Sunday Iris will celebrate the new recording at a release party this Friday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m., at Cafe Coda.