Sunday, May 29, 2011

Album Review: "We're Gonna Run" by Birds & Arrows

"We're Gonna Run" by Birds & Arrows was released on
307 Knox Records on May 7, 2011
Birds & Arrows is composed of husband and wife Pete and Andrea Connolly and Josh Starmer, and hails from Chapel Hill. The couple began in 2007 and released two EPs, an eponymous one, which tells of the tension of how the two met, and “Woodgrain Heart,” which tells of their maturing together. Since then they have added Starmer on the cello, and the the band have certainly matured as musicians. Just out is their new album, “We're Gonna Run,” a follow up of their 2009 debut LP, “Starmaker.”

The draw for Birds & Arrows is their vocals, combined with smooth, tense yet cathartic melodies. Their delicate voices weave in and out of one another through melodies as intimate with nature as an Indian hymn. They are like an angelic night breeze in “Summers Gone” - “We used to feel so young, with teenage hearts that beat so strong.” Their songs have a basic, country beat, but the elegance which they build on this is really something. Starmer really shapes the tone with the cello, delivering both melancholy drones and optimistic bows. Overall they give the impression one gets from a breathtaking morning woodland scene.

“We're Gonna Run” begins with “Time Alone,” one of its strongest tracks, which recommends the listener, “you need more time alone.” Again, Starmer really impresses with the cello, and the Connollys equally amaze with a capella vocals. The album continues with generally mood-lifting songs like “Weeping Willow,” which consoles wonderfully. Towards the end of the album the tracks turn less comforting and a little more bitter, especially “Summers Gone,” a retrospective look at bygone days. The tone picks up again, though, with the penultimate track “Beyond the Pale,” which would have been a brilliant close for the album, as it sums up the entire mood perfectly. However, the album closes with “Alexia,” a sort of instrumental reprise, where the band's melodic prowess is very pronounced.

“We're Gonna Run” is an excellent album, though it takes a few listens to grasp the intricacies of each song – nonetheless it is an easy listen. It makes you step back and appreciate the wonder of everyday life. I would love to see Birds & Arrows experiment more, and I am looking forward to what this band will do next.

No comments:

Post a Comment