A large, almost-square living room is full of spindly chairs, comfortable couches and adorable armchairs, all set up facing the “stage” in the corner. White twinkle lights hang across one wall, giving a starry glow to the low-lit room. The record player, hidden in the closet, sounds its music softly until someone switches it off. People laugh and joke, settling into their seats. The scent of homemade tacos wafts from the kitchen: the band’s dinner.

It’s Saturday night at the Sou’wester Lodge in Seaview, Wash. We’re in the main building of the lodge itself, my first time visiting. People staying in the vintage travel trailer rentals, cabins and campground trickle through the doors, their interest piqued.

Portland musician Nick Jaina sits down at the drums, and Esmé Patterson, a member of the Denver-based band Paper Bird, picks up the acoustic guitar. Esmé’s fluffy curls form a halo around her head. The duo has been touring around Oregon this month, and the Sou’wester is their fourth stop.

First Esmé sings a song inspired by light, how both ends of the spectrum – complete exposure and complete darkness – are blinding. Her voice is arresting, in the same vein as Feist and Regina Spektor. She released her first solo album “All Princes, I” in October.

Another short, melancholy song focuses on love and loss. Esmé says she’s been thinking about the approaching spring and the cycles of blooming flowers: crocuses, daffodils, poppies. It’s beautiful but sad at the same time. “Nothing that we love can stay, but it’s easy to forget among the flowers,” Esmé says. “Maybe we should just forget. Maybe that’s it.”

Nick picks up the guitar and sings a song from the point of view of a bird: the ortolan, a tiny songbird that is roasted and eaten whole in France. This pinnacle of gastronomy is an endangered species and illegal to hunt in France. But though the bird is officially off the menu at all French restaurants, some still serve the delicacy in secret. Nick says he heard about the ortolan on “This American Life,” where eating it was described as both a “disgusting and transcendent experience.”

“It just struck me: it’s a bird that is so beloved for both its singing voice and its taste, yet that’s its undoing,” Nick said.

The duo sing together and solo, and the end of every song is met with enthusiastic applause.

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