We've missed new tunes by local band Bowerbirds. It's been almost three years since Upper Air was released, but the indie-folk band are back this week with their third album, enttitled The Clearing. The album features 11 new songs that the duo Phil Moore and Beth Tacular (with new drummer Yan Westerlund) have been crafting for a few years.
The new album is full of very rich and sophisticated songs that show how the duo have developed over the past three years, since Upper Air was released. There's more structure, more volume and more emotion in these songs than any that the band has released in their career.
The Clearing parallels releases by both Megafaun and Bon Iver last year, both of which were instrumental in the early days of the musical career of Phil and Beth, when they all lived in the Raleigh area. Megafaun's Brad Cook, who released the band's first album, Hymns for a Dark Horse, on his label Burlytime (with Indyweek's Music Editor Grayson Currin), waxed very poetically about the band and their new album in my interview with him back in November. As well, The Clearing was recorded at Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver) April Base studio in Wisconsin. You can read more about the history and relationship between Vernon and the 'birds over at their Tumblr blog.
Watch a short documentary about the new album below where Phil and Beth talk about the Bowerbird history through a musical lens as well as how their relationship has changed over the course of the past few years, including a mysterious illness that put Beth in the hospital between the two albums.
The Bowerbirds' show at Cat's Cradle on Saturday, March 17th will serve as an album release party for the band. Mandolin Orange open the show and tickets are still available, for $12, over at Etix. The band hits the road after the Cradle show. More on those tour dates here.
The album comes out Tuesday, March 6th but you can pick up a copy at Schoolkids Records on Hillsborough or your local record shop today. You can stream the full album over at Stereogum.