Bowerbirds create the type of folk music you could easily equate to being one with nature. It is above all the noise and shuffle of city life, just beyond the outskirts of small town life, and is that of the sustainable life. It seems to have a minimal footprint on this earth not because it isn’t popular or un-noteworthy, but because it is conscious and earthly. It is aware of something greater than the individual, something as great as a planet. Or the concept of pure love. “Northern Lights” demonstrates the culture this music radiates quite well.
I saw Bowerbirds perform at CMJ in 2007. The stage that evening was packed with excellence; I caught breathtaking performances by Le Loup and Papercuts as well. And I met Sean Moeller, the wordsmith behind Daytrotter. He had raved to me about the band, and would go on to write the following just over a month later:
Will Oldham’s character in this year’s Old Joy talks about how hard it is to find real quiet these days. It’s a thought that’s absolutely occurred to Phil Moore, Beth Tacular and Mark Paulson of the North Carolina band The Bowerbirds. It’s a thought that’s been rung through their soft ears like a hard rain for years now and they’ve slinked away from the noise, the stupid cacophony that the rest of us – like it or not – consider to be something of a modern miracle.
Escapism comes in many forms. I am just as likely to toss Arrested Development into my DVD player as I am to stow away in my spare bedroom that acts as a dark music archive. Creating and performing music, too, is a form of escapism. Bowerbirds know this, but they also know that sometimes, to get away from it all, you really need to disappear.
Download: “Northern Lights” by Bowerbirds