Yesterday I wrote about the soundtrack to Once, and the whole singer meets waitress, they write some songs together, and then fall in love thing. Coincidentally, something very similar happened to stimulate the formation of the Bowerbirds. Originally, Phil Moore and Mark Paulson had moved to Raleigh from Iowa to form a band, Ticonderoga. When they arrived, Phil met Beth Tacular (what a cool name - it sounds like spectacular!), Ticonderoga fell apart, and Phil and Beth moved in together to paint pictures and write songs about them. From these ashes, the Bowerbirds arose. You can't get much more romantic movie ending then that!
On the surface, the album sounds relatively straight-forward. The three members use fairly basic instrumentation (including some lovely strings and an accordion here and there) to create a light palette to paint the lyrics onto. Phil Moore sings the majority of the vocals and his style reminds me very much of Elvis Perkins (whose debut release earlier this year I still love and will easily make my best of 2007 in December). Try In Our Talons below to enjoy Beth's accordion playing and The Marbled Godwit to hear those lovely strings amongst an otherwise sparse arrangement.
Bowerbirds - In Our Talons : Hymns for a Dark Horse
Bowerbirds - The Marbled Godwit : Hymns for a Dark Horse
Elvis Perkins - While You Were Sleeping : Ash Wednesday