Friday, April 2, 2010

Mimicking Birds - S/T

When you sit in a darkened room with nothing more than one other person and a guitar, you can only hope that the music created sounds as intimate as Mimicking Birds’ s/t debut album. Neither charming nor downhearted, the songs here are contemplative reflections, beautiful twisted atmospherics where sparseness is often the most distinguishing factor. When the picking of the acoustic guitar loops round, it is in a state of complete and utter seriousness you listen, transfixed. Though each song smoothly caresses its way into your head, “Burning Stars” stands out with a thought-through acoustic guitar melody that feels like it’s been on the back of your mind for years. If you’re a songwriter, this is the kind of song that probably takes years to form and finish, to polish to this level. Understated vocals hold the song together, as they do on most the record.

Natural sounds make their way into the album – coins rolling, doors shutting, and the like – only reinforcing that feeling of comfort and intimacy that the music instills. The scratchy distortion of electric guitar weaves ambiently through “Remnants and Pictures,” adding dimension rather than calling attention. Graceful strings (violin, perhaps?) meanders atop “Cabin Fever.” At times, Damien Rice comes to mind, at others, the gentle bob and weave of Kings of Convenience’s island sway sneaks inside. It’s a wonder; it’s a set of songs that will stop you in your tracks the within your first listen.

Mimicking Birds is on tour with Modest Mouse, and produced this album in Isaac Brock’s home studio. You can stream the album in its entirety here.

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