Review of The Clearing Album by Bowerbirds

Indie folk trio the Bowerbirds' second full length studio album The Clearing is the follow up to 2009's album Upper Air. After a turbulent couple of years fraught with break ups and reconciliations, it's almost a miracle that the album made it to production at all. But we should be glad that it did.

Bowerbirds The Clearing Album

Initially, the first thought is that indie-folk is a strange genre to put this album in. In fact, it's a strange genre full stop. Folk is usually unmistakably unique, and therefore it's odd to put the title of 'indie' in front of it. With The Clearing though, it all seems to make a lot more sense. It fits the idea of indie-folk quite perfectly. It's not quite the same as other folk, there are other elements in there too, which makes it interesting to listen to, and makes it more unique to other folk releases.

It's a relaxing sound, more than anything. Moore's vocals are of a soothing and mellow sort, complementing the folk music excellently, and the vocals of the excellently named Beth Tacular are exactly the same. It's good background music, well recorded and really quite pleasant to listen to. Musically it's gentle and acoustic with the addition of some other alternative elements, like some dance drum beats and even some Spanish castanets that added variety to the album.

It's not going to be without its dissenters, though. This album certainly won't be to everybody's tastes, it's a bit slow and takes some getting used to, and the more impatient listeners might not give it the chance that it deserves. It has more depth than most new releases, and this might stop it from reaching a wide audience.

So, it's an experimental and highly successful release, from a band with a lot of songwriting talent and a carefree attitude towards the music they make. It's a refreshing take on music, with little care for the commercial side and an obvious love towards writing music that sounds like it has been written for the love of writing and playing music. It might not reach a commercial, widespread audience, but that's not what it's about.


Sam Saunders

Site -