March 01, 2012

Bowerbirds - The Clearing

Is it too early in the year to nominate an album for my Best of the Year list? Bowerbirds certainly don't think so. With their previous albums, Upper Air and Hymns for a Dark Horse, I was made a fan and it was clear that the group had a huge amount of potential. The Clearing, however, realizes every last bit of that potential. The folk group from North Carolina skyrockets past their previous efforts, and, I think, makes the best album they possibly could have. 

From the first track, I knew things were different. The melodies of "Tuck The Darkness In" have been wandering around my head for weeks and the beautiful instrumentation reveals further subtleties with every listen. The song builds and builds, showing that when the group gets loud, their whole effect is more powerful. The second single, "In The Yard," surprises yet again, with soaring fuzzy guitar lines and yet another catchy melody. 

I could go on and on like this about every single track, but this piece of folk genius is best experienced firsthand. Not a single track stood out as being weak, although "Walk The Furrows" and "Now We Hurry On" were additional highlights. 

With The ClearingBowerbirds expand their sound, from almost exclusively slow acoustic ballads, to fuller arrangements with distorted guitars, more present drums, and strings. The vocals are stronger, less hushed, and more powerful. This album is everything Bowerbirds should be. 

Enjoy the video below of the Philip Moore and Beth Tacular discussing the making of the album. 

Bowerbirds-"Tuck The Darkness In"

Bowerbirds-"Walk The Furrows"

03/17 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
03/21 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
03/22 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
03/23 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
03/24 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
03/26 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
03/27 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
03/29 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
03/31 – Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Centre
04/03 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
04/04 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
04/06 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
04/08 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
04/11 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
04/12 – Dallas, TX @ The Loft
04/14 – Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree
04/15 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl


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