As the Moulettes take the stage, you might be forgiven if your eyes wander toward the beer garden; their merrie-olde-England-via-Brooklyn outfits signify hipster dilettantes. But just you wait. The first notes of cello and violin provide a swelling stream on which float the lovely harmonies of Hannah Miller and Dr. Ruth Skipper, unmistakably rooted in British Isles folk music. Lovely enough, but you’re a bit thirsty — and then the music takes a left turn. A crescendo builds, little jazz inflections creep in, the minor key turns suddenly major. The two female voices are joined by a pair of men’s, and a Queen-like four-part harmony swells to arresting volume. Dizzying shifts in dynamics and time signatures follow, the songs obeying a twisty logic of their own. Propelled by dramatic accompaniment sometimes reminiscent of progressive metal (although played on strings and bassoon), the lyrics fly by, sometimes at breakneck speed, but you catch a phrase that sticks hard: "music is a monster that needs feeding." With a rotating cast of members, the core trio of Miller (cello, guitar), Skipper (bassoon, autoharp), and Oliver Austin (drums, guitar) have been creating new blends of rock, pop, classical and folk music since 2002. The current lineup also includes the musical director of the legendary Arthur Brown’s band Jim Mortimore (bass and guitar) and newest member Raevennan Husbandes (guitar). As the Moulettes take the stage, prepare yourself to be spellbound — and visit the beer garden first if you’re so inclined, because once they’re playing, you won't be able to tear yourself away.

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