Nick Jaina / Hidden Pictures
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For his March release "Wool," Oregon songwriter and producer Nick Jaina wrote songs using a piano once owned by Elliott Smith and an old relic he found while touring in Finland last year. Perhaps those elements played part in the inspiration for the darkly nuanced Americana folk-pop he created. His melodic songwriting is bolstered with playful string and wind instrumentation courtesy of his Portland friends, a handful of whom join him on tour.Hidden Pictures began to take shape when Richard Gintowt and Michelle Sanders started performing as an acoustic duo during the last months of 2007. They quickly recorded and released a nine-song album and assembled a band featuring Tim Brandsted on bass and Pat Tomek on drums. They write all sorts of songs, some of which are folky, some of which might be called "Americana" or "alt-country," and some of which resemble all the hip indie rock bands they listen to.