Local Wire

Bowerbirds

Let's face it, we're in a new decade, and while some of the previous decade's fads and styles will continue to trickle into 2010 and beyond, some of them need to respectfully wither away. There's nothing wrong with that because it is simply the cutthroat nature of our culture's sensibilities. Yesterday's flavor of the month is now today's fish out of water, slowly gasping for air before drawing that final, fatal breath. Freak-folk had its unprecedented heyday in the latter part of last decade — yet it still lumbers around this Earth like an acoustic-guitar-playing Sasquatch in flannel and crappy haircut. Some bands, like Raleigh, North Carolina's Bowerbirds, emerged during the freak-folk explosion. It's all they know; they must continue to bombard their fans with acoustic guitars, single hits of the bass drum, and accordion. Their folk is smattered with pop, though the original sentiment still reigns supreme. Phil Moore's vocals are painfully indie rock, but his band's graceful sound bails him out because their music and his voice complement each other so frighteningly well. If freak-folk/nu folk/neofolk maintains a stranglehold on contemporary music for a few more years, then Bowerbirds deserves all the credit.
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Michael Lopez