Bowerbirds - The Clearing

South Carolina's Bowerbirds return with their third album The Clearing, and a pretty little thing it is too; as soothing and gentle as a quiet walk in the woods. The arrangements are sparse: just guitar, piano and violin with Beth Tacular and Phil Moore's voices taking centre stage, meaning much relies on the songs themselves for added interest.

Opening track 'Tuck The Darkness In' has just that bit of menace in it, the way the violin cries in the background like a dying spirit, giving it a sharper edge and added beauty, while 'In The Yard' (with Tacular on vocals) and 'Walk In The Furrows' are more laid back and folky (and therefore slightly less intriguing). The jaunty 'Stitch The Hem' and the ethereal 'Brave World' do save proceedings somewhat. All in all, The Clearing is a delightful collection of well-crafted songs - and good company for those with an interest in the genre during the long spring days soon to come.



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