THE WOODEN BIRDS play the Drake Sunday (July 10). See listing Rating: NNNN
The second effort by the Wooden Birds – essentially American Analog Set’s Andrew Kenny, though Leslie Sisson adds backup vocals to most of the 12 songs – is an ideal lazy summer album. Lie in the grass with it. Take it to the park. Its soothing, bobbing melodies are meant for sunshine. Its spare instrumentation – voices, meandering guitar and bare-bones percussion – keeps things refreshingly uncluttered.
Interestingly, Kenny’s soft singing and distinct delivery bring female singers to mind: Forest City Lovers’ Kat Burns and Fiery Furnaces’ Eleanor Friedberger, specifically. Sisson offers complementary counterpoint, and her lead duties on Baby Jeans make it a standout. Less so is Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard’s harmonic turn on Warm To The Blade his voice blurs too easily with Kenny’s.
Though the music is breezy, Kenny’s sage, unfussy meditations on life and love add welcome weight.
Top track: Baby Jeans