The Clearing


The spacious production style of past albums confined Bowerbirds to an open room: a sweet-sounding yet stationary setting for vivid music to unfold. Sensitive microphones and a homey venue proved to be the cure to decongest the airy recording. “Stitch the Hem” was laid right in its churning, upward motion of scrambling keys, guided sternly by flash moments of syncopated vocal unity. These brief moments together build bridges over the melodic, freeform recitation of verse, focusing less on the necessity of a likable hook, while the memorable moments happen during the in-between. “Death Wish” seals itself with beat-driven horn rhythms that occasionally enrich the album in warm, brass nougats, though they’re ironically skimmed over in “Sweet Moments.” Bowerbirds maintain a natural, folk equilibrium, but it’s not the most exciting slice.