Bowerbirds — „becalmyounglovers“ (April 30th, 2021)

USA FLAG                                                                              Bowerbirds — „becalmyounglovers“ (April 30th, 2021)
≡°  Pojem „beznadějný romantik“ je trochu nesprávné pojmenování. Být romantikem ve skutečnosti závisí na idealismu a sentimentálnosti naděje — ujištění, že magie mezi osobnostmi je možná. A přesto absence romantiky může učinit tento druh člověka naprosto beznadějným. Bowerbirds vydali své poslední album The Clearing v roce 2012. Nadcházející becalmyounglovers je výsledkem posledních šest let psání a nahráváni po částech.  Moore pozval Matta McCaughana z Bon Iver, Alexa Binghama z bandu Hiss Golden Messenger a Libby Rodenbough, aby se k němu připojili během nahrávání. Na projektu se podíleli také Chessa Rich, Joseph Terrell, Wood Robinson, Ari Picker a Zach Hansen, přičemž album Hansen promíchal a masteroval. Moore většinou psal a nahrával album v kabině, kterou postavil se svou exp~artnerkou, přičemž album zaznamenává konec dlouhého vztahu.
≡°  Multiinstrumentalistka a zpěvačka Mipso Libby Rodenbough je nejmocnější, poskytuje sladkou, ženskou harmonii napříč celým prostorem becalmyounglovers. Jejich společný sound pospolitosti zahušťuje Moore zobrazením odpojení a samoty. Ale toto vzájemné srovnávání — pokus o nalezení pocitu pravdy v konfliktních identitách — je přesně to, co činí z becalmyounglovers tak ovlivňující desku. Identifikace a aktualizace. Znáte jen jeden dílek skládanky. Svět vypadá jako před deseti lety, ovšem jen na povrchu. V zásadě se dost změnil. Napravujte, co je ve světě špatného a téměř určitě si přátele najdete. Nejlépe je to vidět a slyšet v písni Moon Phase. „„Moon Phase“ je píseň zahrnující konec dlouhodobého vztahu,“ uvedl Moore v tiskovém prohlášení. „Když je to něco, v čem jsi už nějakou dobu byl a stal se tak známým, vyhovuje ti ten příliv a odliv a může existovat jakási nejistota, když si nejsi jist, jestli je to opravdu pryč nebo ne. „Moon Phase“ se noří do nejistoty nebo nedůvěry a do toho opravdu specifického smutku, který přichází s koncem.“  
≡°  becalmyounglovers is as much a return as it is a farewell. Phil Moore’s first Bowerbirds album since 2012 is an artifact of transition, a domino effect of doors closing and Moore stumbling headfirst into the uncertainty of what comes after a life fundamentally changes. Like a polaroid slowly swimming into focus, becalmyounglovers reconciles the memories of yourself in relation to another person, and then what’s unearthed when you’re left to face your identity alone — and which one of those selves is true?
≡°  Written and recorded mainly in an isolated cabin hand built by Moore and his ex~partner, out in Siler City, North Carolina, becalmyounglovers chronicles a long~term relationship’s death rattle, inevitable breakup, and its immediate aftermath — and Moore’s getting to understand himself better in the process. These songs don’t trudge through upheaval — instead, they float, still sanguine and light in the face of plans gone awry.
≡°  But, true to Moore’s songwriting, the heaviness of the subject matter still glimmers with an innate hopefulness. becalmyounglovers is like wading deep into the psyche of a potential identity crisis, but there’s no darkness here — instead, Bowerbirds plumbs the depths with the windows open, a breeze flowing in, a smattering of sunlight across the floor and the sounds of outside filtering in, the promise of a new morning right around the corner. 

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Album release: April 30th, 2021
Record Label: Psychic Hotline
Format:  Teal Vinyl
01. SBSF   3:04
02. Seems Impossible   3:55
03. Pennies   3:33
04. The Rules   3:23
05. Revel Revel   3:52
06. All This Rain   3:00
07. Moon Phase   3:03
08. The Party   3:30
09. Can U Beleeb   2:21
10. Treasure   2:00
11. Sweet Dissonance   2:06
12. Every Life   3:04
Hilary Saunders ⌊APRIL 29, 2021⌋: 
°≡  The term hopeless romantic is a bit of a misnomer. Being a romantic actually hinges on the idealism and sentimentality of hope — an assurance that magic between souls is possible. And yet the absence of romance can render this kind of a person absolutely hopeless.
°≡  Phil Moore seems to sing of this contradiction on “Seems Impossible,” the second song off his North Carolina folk~rock group Bowerbirds’ fourth LP, becalmyounglovers. “Left our home in the cool of night / Everything right in the world / Just the two old souls and the end of times / Everything else has to burn,” he coos, foreshadowing both the improbability of meeting one’s match in this lifetime and the seemingly impossible realities of dealing with that relationship’s dissolution.
°≡  Bowerbirds’ return — it’s their first full~length release since 2012, though they released two EPs in 2020 — is by all counts a breakup record. What burns in “Seems Impossible” continues to arch and flare in the succeeding “Pennies,” as Moore continues, “When the fire won’t listen / I’m reaching for the wind for now.” Recorded over the course of six years, the album traces the relationship arc between Moore and founding Bowerbirds member Beth Tacular, who is also an established visual artist. It chronicles their untangling of selves, both as individuals and bandmates, but acknowledges how they’ll be forever entwined as parents and collaborators.Bowerbirds’ Phil Moore ©Libby Rodenbough
°≡  Much of becalmyounglovers therefore grapples with self~identification and actualization. There’s the exceptionalism Moore felt in “The Rules,” in which his falsetto wavers over twangy guitars; there’s the anger and blame of “Moon Phase,” even though they’re tucked away behind the pedal steel breezes of an acoustic guitar ballad.
°≡  Despite the fire and grief, nostalgia, and fear, becalmyounglovers is an oddly gentle~sounding record. Fiddles and synths ring over the deep bassline in “Revel Revel” and a quiet piano plinks in the ballad of futility, “All This Rain.” And in the two~minute whispering “Sweet Dissonance,” one of beautiful, yet tragic highlights of the 12~track album, Moore concludes the acoustic song of acceptance with a melodic upswing toward hope.
°≡  Most powerfully, Mipso multi~instrumentalist and vocalist Libby Rodenbough provides sweet, feminine harmonies across becalmyounglovers. Their sounds of togetherness complicate Moore’s depictions of uncoupling and soitude. But that juxtaposition — that attempt to find a sense of truth within conflicting identities — is precisely what makes becalmyounglovers such an affecting record.
By CONOR LOCHRIE ⌊MAY 3, 2021⌋ Score: ★★★