Calgary's Woodpigeon (aka Mark Andrew Hamilton and friends) is one of those acts that have long shown great promise but never quite hit the mark we hoped for. On Thumbtacks And Glue, though, Hamilton may finally gain an audience beyond the indie folk ghetto. Embracing a wide palette of sounds helps, but beyond the occasional crunchy guitar or unexpected synth, it's the arrangements that make this album work.
He's got a pleasant enough voice, but the first thing you notice is the way he frames it. By not shying away from the occasional "ugly" sound, he makes the more delicate elements seem much less twee. And while you quickly lose track of the number of instruments fading in and out of the mix, the sound never gets so dense that the songs feel unfocused.
What's most surprising are the effective, more overtly rock moments. Maybe Hamilton should consider leaving his acoustic guitar in the closet for a while and see what happens.
Top track: Children Should Be Seen And Not Heard