The Lineup


Raleigh, NC

For the Triangle’s Bowerbirds, it’s all about the little things—a solitary piano note, a gentle cymbal crash, the breath between words.  The group’s not one for grand gestures, opting instead to instill their folk-flavored songs with an austere honesty. When Phil Moore and Beth Tacular sing, they carefully navigate both what they say and how it's said.  It’s how a seemingly simple line like “All I want is your eyes/ in the moment that we wake/ for a short while” can become infused with a palpable, plaintive desire.  And it’s how "In Our Talons," from their full-length debut Hymns For A Dark Horse, can be winsome and foreboding at the same time.

This painstaking care extends into their music. Listen for the way an electric piano can enter a song sounding unlike itself and still feel like it belongs where it is. Listen how a song can effortlessly shift from a gentle strummy gait to a pensive, trembling quiver.

In an interview with the Independent, Moore commented that the trained ear should notice that their second album, Upper Air, was recorded on GarageBand. It’s a testament to Bowerbirds' skill as musicians and songwriters that their music sounds like something that was made in the outdoors, under the auspices of rustling leaves and swaying boughs, carried by the wind. —David Raposa