Mysterious, experimental and psychedelic are some words that describe Big Blood, a local original-music act from South Portland that dares to be unconventionally artsy.

While art is always subjective, let’s face it: In music, its creators are put into a few categories in a local scene and many times there is not a lot of deviation from that. It’s a recipe that works, and if the listeners are buying it and listening, then why not?

Big Blood are, in their own words, “the phantom four piece of Asian Mae, Caleb Mulkerin, Rose Philistine and Colleen Kinsella but perform only as a duo.” In their new CD, “Night Terrors in The Isle of Louie Hardin,” they seem to have no affiliation with what may or may not be happening in Maine’s local-music menagerie, and that is their charm. Their music is enchanting, eerie, somewhat tribal feeling and anomalous. From the title of their CD to each song title and in between, there are secrets, riddles and uncertainty flowing in and out of the overall atmosphere of the compositions.

The free-flowing first track, “Sidewalk-walk/Un-Nole,” introduces the band with no boundaries. Using soft chimes, what sounds like a panting dog, a woman’s voice calling and chanting, and probably some synthesizers to create mood, they certainly introduce themselves with a statement: They will not be your average cookie-cutter band.

Moving on through the CD, each ensuring song is different in that the musicians usually use an alternating type of percussion to ground it. They intersperse bells, tambourines, chimes, flutes, some type of banging drum and other rhythmic instruments, maybe guitars with loads of effects or synthesizers, and a woman’s voice.

What the songs are about is completely left up to the listener. If there are lyrics in any of the tracks, you cannot understand them; but of course, that seems to be the aim.

The music on the whole is wonderfully atmospheric, and would lend itself well to a movie soundtrack, or I could imagine an eclectic performance-art group, dazzling and mesmerizing listeners in New York City’s Washington Square.

There are no rules here; no verse/chorus/verse/bridge/chorus formulas to follow. The music’s free-form spirit will set the listeners’ minds in a trance-like meditative state, and take them to a place they might not have known they even wanted to visit: a quirky, bizarre and enigmatic place somewhere in South Portland, Maine.

Kristin DiCara-McClellan is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

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