Bowerbirds - Hymns for a Dark Horse

Winds its way through a faintly Slavic wilderness, trailing alluring poetry behind

Album Review by Chris Cusack | 12 Aug 2008
  • Bowerbirds
Album title: Hymns for a Dark Horse
Artist: Bowerbirds
Label: Dead Oceans
Release date: 18 Aug

As sultry and understated as the obscure collages adorning the sleeve, Hymns for a Dark Horse rises gently from nothing on the back of Phil Moore's wistful guitar. Like much of the album, opener Hooves winds its way through a faintly Slavic wilderness, trailing alluring poetry behind, in keeping with so many sinister fairy tales. Bowerbirds' similarity with Beirut is unmistakeable as the abundance of accordion and signature rhythms summon to mind Eastern Europe and splashes of a distinctly Jewish musical heritage. The multi-layered harmonies are consistently gorgeous; less affected than those of their aforementioned alt-folk contemporary and, as such, are perhaps a little easier to savour. It’s a beautiful album throughout, though one suspects perhaps more suited to the transitory colours of autumn and its chill winds than the stale heat of summer. Fortunately it appears to possess the requisite longevity to remain in favour until such time as the nights draw in. (Chris Cusack)

http://www.myspace.com/bowerbirds