Posted by: will | July 17, 2007



Bowerbirds “Hymns For A Dark Horse” (Burly Time)


The story of Bowerbirds started many years ago when Phil Moore and Mark Paulson moved to Raleigh, NC from Iowa to start a band. That band was Ticonderoga. Before Ticonderoga’s break up, Phil Moore met Beth Tacular. The two eventually moved in together and started writing songs. Those songs would become what is now Bowerbirds. Once Ticonderoga was laid to rest, Mark Paulson joined the duo to fill out the band. Bowerbirds’ sound is striking compared to Ticonderoga’s guitar centered post-punk. On Hymns For A Dark Horse Bowerbirds crafts dark, mature indie/folk that immediately casts them into impressive company the likes of The Decemberists, The Rosebuds and Andrew Bird.

While perhaps not immediately striking, Hymns For A Dark Horse is one of those albums that creeps along and slowly burrows its melodies and tales into your subconscious. Moore and Tacular live in an Airstream trailer in the woods. It makes sense as that earthiness seeps into the band’s sound throughout Hymns For A Dark Horse. The band pens tunes of love and respect for each other and nature. The belief that we have mistreated the earth and our fellow man echoes throughout Hymns For A Dark Horse. On “In Our Talons” the lyric, It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth, is striking to say the least. Again on “Human Hands” you have the compelling lyric of There is hate in our human hands, there is hate all around. Bowerbirds certainly have a lovely way of weaving their songs. All the while, the band accents their stories and Moore’s impressively restrained voice with accordion and spare instrumentation. Tacular’s backing female vocals add a seductive and feminine quality to the band’s music. Bowerbirds are able to create a natural, organic mood that is completely memorable on Hymns For A Dark Horse.

Hymns For A Dark Horse plays out as if you could be watching the group in front of a campfire on a hot and humid Southern night. It is that unmatched feel that Bowerbirds are able to create on Hymns For A Dark Horse that makes them so uniquely special. There is something that rings out so real and unmistakably true when listening to the band. So, take heed dear listeners, soon everyone will know the unfound treasure that is Bowerbirds.

RIYL: The Rosebuds, The Decemberists, Andrew Bird


Bowerbirds – In Our Talons (mp3)

Bowerbirds – Dark Horse (mp3)


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