The Clearing

LIVE MUSIC: Bowerbirds @ The Black Cat - 3/21/12

There’s a point you reach in every relationship you have with a band where you’re not quite sure if you are ready to commit. You like them a lot...maybe even A LOT a lot...but there’s still something that keeps you from feeling that they are just the right fit.

As a duo, Philip Moore and Beth Tacular have built their career on writing smart, emotionally evocative songs that play with the boundaries of what a folk song should or could be. On their latest album, The Clearing they certainly attempted to “fatten up” a little the instrumentation used, it definitely suffers from a seemingly unintentional sparseness of sound that can happen when so few people are working on a record resort to using the tools at hand rather than utilizing the freedom that, say, a full band might offer. And make no mistake - The Clearing is a fantastic record. It just wasn’t until seeing the songs performed live with a full band that it ever really clicked for me. And oh what a performance.

PressPlay: Bowerbirds - Tuck The Darkness In

Sounds Like: Andrew Bird, Magnolia Electric Co., Vetiver
Why You Should Care: While not as immediately accessible as you would expect, there's real rewards to be found in Bowerbirds music if you are willing to give it a little of your time.

North Carolina’s Bowerbirds hit the ground running with their 2007 debut Hymns For A Dark Horse. That albums sparse, off-kilter beauty garnered the band both critical and commercial acclaim and drew comparisons to the likes of Devandra Banhardt, Vetiver, The Mountain Goats, and even Jeff Buckley.

Now in 2012 the group is back with their latest effort, The Clearing, and not only have Philip Moore, Beth Tacular and Matt Damron embraced their inner Andrew Bird, but they’ve brought a little more weight, a little more lushness to their sound that serves them quite well.