Thursday, February 27, 2014

SWL #51: Slow Bird, "Backfire"

This song is an anthem from the very beginning, making it an excellent opener to Slow Bird's latest record, 'Chrysalis'. Jennae Quisenberry comes in over percussion reminiscent of a military drum line with her pretty but resolute declaration: "Gonna raise an army up/ gonna build an army/ guns are cleaned and safety's off". The song's charm lies in juxtapositions like this; obviously the topic is dark and the drums are utilitarian, but the other instrumentation and vocals are so beautiful -- layered, reverb-y guitars, keys, and synths. Then, at the 2:50 mark, the march of war dissolves away, and we see this song is not about a war of countries, but of hearts. Quisenberry croons "You know I blame you/ I know you blame me, too".

Quisenberry, with Matt Street on synthesizers/drums and Joshua Dore on guitars, have put forth a whole album of lovely, dangerous songs and listeners can find a battle cry of their own on any of the tracks from "Chrysalis". Even the slower songs have a power and grace that makes me feel ready to take on the world. Lucky us, Seattle, they've been playing around town recently, gearing up for their LP release soon. Keep a look out for show announcements on their Facebook page, and listen to/buy the digital album at their bandcamp here.

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