Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Listen: Bowerbirds - "February"/"March"

If there's one thing I love more than my favorite bands/artists putting out more music per year it's them challenging themselves. Like other artists before them, Bowerbirds have decided for a song a month type challenge with their focus being on writing shorter songs. While one of my favorite things about Bowerbirds is their penchant for crafting absolutely gorgeous musical moments that don't really adhere to time lengths, it'll be a nice change to get some shorter tracks from the North Carolina duo. It's nice to know that they're still writing music while a tinkering away at their cabin-studio supported by their Kickstarter campaign and maybe all these flowing creative juices with give birth to the new Bowerbirds album they promised.

"February" begins with their trademark pastoral imagery and soft, plaintive guitar before breaking out into a feathery synth instrumental that's no doubt been inspired by Phil Moore's more electronic-leading side project Island Dweller and the Bowerbirds continuing evolution away from your standard folk band. It somehow manages to straddle the line between beguiling simplicity and ethereal lushness - a trait Bowerbirds seems to be masters of which they tone down a bit for these newer tracks.

While a clear line of outside inspiration can be gleamed in "February", in "March", the inspiration appears to be much more internal. Peppered with the sort of complex, tribal pulse that underscored The Clearing, it's not as much of a clean obvious break between ideas as "February". That's by no means a bad thing. "March" could fit right along with The Clearing's tracks and its brevity comes as much more of a shock. It rolls on with purpose and could easily be expanded with lovely instrumentals and harmonies. Where "February" feels truly and completely done, "March" makes you want to hear more. I know the objective of the exercise is to write shorter songs but here's hoping Bowerbirds revisit this track as it's simply too excellent to be a throwaway.

I'm thoroughly excited to see what the rest of the year brings from the Bowerbirds and their short-form experiments.

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