Monday, March 22, 2010

You Should Know: Mimicking Birds

If you've heard anything about Portland trio Mimicking Birds, you know Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock played a big part in the recording and production of the band's full-length, self-titled debut. But if you've heard the band's music, you know there's much more to the group than their indie rock connections. Their dark, yet delicate indie folk sound is intoxicating, with frontman Nate Lacey's ethereal voice - conjuring both the softer side of Brock's own strange croon and the eerie vocals of Asthmatic Kitty newcomer DM Stith - floating over a sparse mix of acoustic guitar, bass, and light percussion. Though the group's sound doesn't vary a great deal over their first record's 40 minutes, they're remarkably effective at creating a consistently engaging experience with a relatively limited number of musical elements. And the best material is absolutely gorgeous; "In the Loop" drifts along slowly with an almost haunted atmosphere, "Burning Stars" is a warmer, more pop-oriented tune, and "Under and In Rocks" closes with a lovely, emotional ballad.

It's easy to hear the influences present in their style, but on their debut record, Mimicking Birds manage to stand well apart from both their predecessors and contemporaries. It's an album that I find myself returning to often and it holds up very well against the best material in this already strong musical year, so it goes without saying that I highly recommend checking out one of 2010's most promising new bands.

Download "Burning Stars" at RCRD LBL