by Adam McKinney for OLY ARTS

In an indie music culture which, in the past decade or so, favors stripped-down bands that offer no-frills music and disaffected live shows, Molly Raney’s Poppet project is thrilling in its efforts to craft a performance that truly leaves an impression. That the music stands on its own is a bonus.

Molly Raney–on her own as Poppet, and recently with an accompanying dancer–crafts her stage show with loving care. Creating loops from keyboard riffs, drum machines, and vocals, Raney frees herself to be a magnetic presence, using her entire body to navigate the stage. Poppet’s art-pop is intellectual and emotional, swelling with feeling as its nimble lyrics interact with Raney’s physicality. She performs her songs, acts them out, with every fiber of her being, creating a show from which it’s impossible to look away.

It’s an easy comparison, one Raney herself makes via her listing of influences, to consider Poppet a delicate, American blending of Kate Bush and Björk. Raney, however, has a lower-key presentation.

“Björk was one of the first ‘alternative’ artists I encountered as a teen,” says Raney. “I remember laughing with delight in my bedroom while listening to Post for the first time. I was ecstatic to hear pop music so original!…I love Kate (Bush) in part for the opposite end of the composition continuum she occupies. Her insistence on managing every aspect of her album production–to the tune of building her own studio on her family’s property to write Hounds of Love entirely on her own terms–is naturally very inspiring to me. The no-compromise stance of her creativity never fails to leave an impression.”

Raney has total control over Poppet, performing by herself with only herself to fall back on. To say she rises to the occasion is an understatement. One performance is all the convincing you’ll need.

What: Poppet (with Afrozip, ShaRa and Syncopated Knock)

Where: Obsidian,
414 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

When: 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13

How much: $6

Learn more: 360-890-4425 | Poppet.us