Carla Bozulich performs at Hailey's on Wednesday, July 5.
While her eerie alt-country creations with the Geraldine Fibbers were moody to say the least, Carla Bozulich's second solo release, Evangelista, is another matter altogether. Largely improvisational, the nine lengthy compositions are dark and harrowing tales of religious and personal disintegration set to a pace only a snail could love. Like a folk version of Diamanda Galas, Bozulich's artistic integrity is to be commended even if the end result succeeds in being more frightening than listenable. Set against a backdrop of sampled sermons, tape hiss and a string section tuned to the key of creepy, songs like "How to Survive Being Hit by Lightning," "Inside Sleeps" and a manic deconstruction of Low's "Pissing" are unsettling and fascinatingly emotive. With her vocals wheezing in and out of the swampy mix, Bozulich is intense to a fault, sometimes coming across like Stevie Nicks on an acid trip through a countryside freak show. Music this challenging is either the result of a truly unique and convincing theatrical bent or the product of an artistically disturbed mind.