A Promising Flee
Brooklyn duo, Bird Courage, have been releasing lo-fi acoustic goodness since 2011. With a debut full length and a handful of singles released online, their most recent (January 2012), though short, release is definitely a cut above most others I've heard in similar styles. A Promising Flee, at only five songs, is far too short in my opinion, but I enjoyed every second of the album.
The opening title track is a hustle of strummed acoustics and brilliant lyric/melody play. It reminds me of the frantic, angsty acoustic punk I grew up listening to, but with softer lyrics and better writing. The latter part of the album sweeps in to chamber folk, with finger picked guitars, tight harmonies, and a comfortable amount of reverb on everything; Sounding like a stripped and tamed Fleet Foxes with a touch of The Tallest Man on Earth and slice of Iron & Wine. I can really get behind this album for its slick, understated delivery and refreshing take on a nearly worn out genre.
The album leaves much in a similar style to as how it began. A strong punch of acoustic guitars with a thumping kick drum making an appearance. This last tune reminds me of Mumford and Sons with its strumming patterns and lyrics.
I heavily suggest looking into Bird Courage and A Promising Flee if you're in need of something new to add to your fall/winter playlists.
Song in the Wind
Toronto vocalist/ songwriter Donna Greenberg presents Song in the Wind, her second record full of original tunes. An eclectic mix of jazz, swing, Latin, and ballads comprise the main structure of this adult contemporary album.
Between the beautiful arrangements, musicianship, and Greenberg's especially tasteful, jazzy voice, there is a lot happening here. Groovy Latin percussion and Bossa Nova beats are the backbone with a wide range of exotic instruments fleshing out the sound. And although the instrumentation is great, what I found to be completely astounding was the many different languages that Donna's songs were translated and sung in. As I am no linguistic expert I needed to refer to her press kit to find out that she sings in Spanish, French, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Italian. Amazing.
Even though I found this to be the most unique album I've heard all year, I did find myself getting a little bored. However, I was looking forward to the solos in each song, exhibited by world class talent. Tasteful nylon string guitars, saxophone, and clarinet were the stitches that held it all together for me.
I should have either learned to tango or popped a bottle of red and drawn a bath before diving into this record, so maybe you can give that a shot instead. Check out Ms. Greenberg at www.DonnaGreenberg.com