New Bowerbirds – “Northern Lights”

With their debut, Bowerbirds emerged as a great new hope for tree-hugging folk, melodies strong enough to count Bon Iver a fan and mate, prose pithy enough for John Darnielle’s endorsement. The culmination of their aesthetic then was this devastatingly poetic video for the devastatingly poetic gypsy folk of “In Our Talons,” an environmentalist elegy which spoke direly and ended ambiguously: “We’re only human; this at least we’ve learned.”

“Northern Lights,” the lead single from their forthcoming LP Upper Air, is as good or better than anything on that debut. Lyricist and singer Phil Moore has in fact learned he’s human after all; he’s in a band with his partner (Beth Tacular), the earth can wait a minute, this song is for her. “I don’t need from you a waterfall of careless praise / and I don’t need a trophy for all the games I play / But all I want is your eyes in the morning as we wake for a short while.” I mean, it is a Bowerbirds song, so it’s not like there’s no reference to nature (he needs the grass to sway, he needs the wind on his face), but it’s subjugated in service of a more personal love, and a more real take on it: this is the anti-What Have You Done For Me Lately, it’s a response to pop-tart chart toppers. This is a real love song.

Bowerbirds – “Northern Lights” (MP3)

Upper Air is out 6/7 (6/6 in the UK) via Dead Oceans. The cover looks like this:

These are the tour dates, all with Megafaun (they used to tour with Justin Vernon, so they’ve got this whole DeYarmond Edison thing on lock down):

07/06 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat w/ Megafaun
07/07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s w/ Megafaun
07/10 – Providence, RI @ Club Hell w/ Megafaun
07/11 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall w/ Megafaun
07/12 – Cambridge, MA @ TT The Bear’s Place w/ Megafaun
07/13 – Montreal QC, Canada @ La Sala Rossa w/ Megafaun
07/14 – Toronto ON, Canada @ Sneaky Dees w/ Megafaun
07/15 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern w/ Megafaun
07/16 – Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room at The Crofoot w/ Megafaun
07/17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Vollrath Tavern w/ Megafaun
07/20 – Iowa City, IA @ The Mill w/ Megafaun
07/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry w/ Megafaun
07/22 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown w/ Megafaun
07/26 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive w/ Megafaun
07/27 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court w/ Megafaun
07/29 – Vancouver BC, Canada @ The Biltmore Cabaret w/ Megafaun
07/30 – Seattle, WA @ Triple Door w/ Megafaun
07/31 – Anacortes, WA @ Department of Safety w/ Megafaun
08/01 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios w/ Megafaun
08/03 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe du Nord w/ Megafaun
08/04 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo w/ Megafaun
08/05 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah w/ Megafaun
08/06 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rhythm Room w/ Megafaun
08/10 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress w/ Megafaun
08/12 – Denton, TX @ Hailey’s w/ Megafaun
08/13 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk w/ Megafaun
08/14 – Houston, TX @ Walter’s On Washington w/ Megafaun
08/15 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks w/ Megafaun
08/16 – Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree w/ Megafaun
08/17 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl w/ Megafaun

Tags: Bowerbirds