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The Wooden Birds

Two Matchsticks (Barsuk)

Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., June 17, 2011

Texas Platters

The Wooden Birds

Two Matchsticks (Barsuk)

From the American Analog Set's seminal slowcore to his first solo foray on 2005's Post-Parlo solo split with Ben Gibbard, Home: Volume V, Andrew Kenny ebbs meditative lulls of steady, percussive strums that belie an often more turbulent disillusion. Following up his 2009 Wooden Birds debut, Magnolia, the local indie singer-songwriter largely stays the course behind subtle and plaintive half-revealed narratives, shimmering sonics finding a slightly heavier emphasis in Kenny's self-deployed arrangements. The sophomore effort's growth lies in its outlook, which still churns restlessly under his melodic pull, with an older, more reflective tone defined at the outset on openers "Folly Cub" and "Two Matchsticks" and bleeding through the weariness of "Company Time." Leslie Sisson's vocals shade harmonies throughout and lead with a country flair on "Baby Jeans," while Gibbard accents the grappling "Warm to the Blade" and Matt Pond provides a more Midlake-feel on "Be No Lie." (The Wooden Birds conclude their tour at Mohawk, Wednesday, July 20.)

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