Villagers’s Conor O’Brien wrote and recorded nearly everything on Becoming A Jackal himself, and it’s his clipped, quavering voice you’ll notice first on “Ship Of Promises.” You’ll hear Arcade Fire and Conor Oberst in equal parts, but O’Brien is restrained, pulling back the one place where you expect this song to explode or turn melodramatic. Villagers is O’Brien plus some friends who play with him live, but he stars alone (with a trio of sirens) in this video. This clip makes the whole forest setting/trio of witches or angels thing a music video mini trend. See also: Woods’s “Death Rattles,” and Black Mountain’s “Old Fangs.” “Ship Of Promises” was directed by Kathryn Ferguson.
The title track from Becoming A Jackal has a different feel and an appealing beat. Here his voice reminds me of the Antlers’s Peter Silberman:
Villagers – “Becoming A Jackal”
Becoming A Jackal is out now via Domino.