Mimicking Birds – Mimicking Birds Mimicking Birds – Mimicking Birds

Mimicking Birds

Mimicking Birds

Mimicking Birds is, technically speaking, singer/songwriter Nate Lacy, Tim Skellenger and Aaron Henson. In reality though, it’s Lacy and Modest Mouse frontman, Isaac Brock. Having taken him under his wing the stalwart of shouty indie rock has since signed Lacy to his Glacial Place label, brought him along on Modest Mouse tours, and generally provided a voice of experience. That’s not to say that Mimicking Birds sounds like some sort of MM pastiche, but the influence is clearly audible.

Lacy remains a singer/songwriter however, and he is truly gifted at his craft. As an acoustic performer much of Mimicking Birds resembles Brock’s work under the Ugly Casanova moniker, albeit much more fragile. While the albums weaker moments may be accused of lacking in inventiveness instrumentally speaking, Lacy’s voice is the star of the show here. Consistently strong, it continues to shine where the instrumentation may fail.

The most impressive moments on Lacy’s debut are the songs constructed from repetitive melodies. “Home and Somewhere Else” sets the perfect tone for the album and provides an accurate representation of Lacy’s vocals, guitar picking skill, and the ever present MM influence. The distorted vocals, along with the whispers and murmurs that float harmlessly in the background from time to time are strong. If it wasn’t for the fact they were used so expertly they could have ruined this beautiful project. “The Loop” boasts the kind of guitar melody that could be lifted directly from an Ugly Casanova album, but it’s the closeness, the sense of intimacy that runs throughout the album that sets it apart.

Every slight change in Lacy’s vocals, even the sound of his fingers sliding up the guitar, is audible. It works brilliantly and the more cyclical numbers craft a haunted and wistful backdrop for the album. The vocals in particular are delivered with an almost eerie quality, when Lacy sings on “10%”, “We are a solid army of overwhelming proportions/Nothing can beat us/ We might be able to destroy the sun” he does so with such fragility that it’s almost unsettling to try and comprehend.

The almost poppy “Burning Stars” is firmly the strongest song, however. Featuring a Bon Iver-esque strumming pattern, and the catchiest hook in the form of its chorus, it really is the star of the album. It also includes the kind of wistful and seemingly aimless guitar twinkles found throughout The Moon & Antarctica.

Mimicking Birds is a great little album. Not exactly life changing, it suffers around the middle where it’s possible to get bogged down in what can seem like acoustic singer-songwriter meandering. Luckily the Isaac Brock influence has been handled with aplomb, and rather than looming over Lacy’s work it has been utilized as a constructive and welcome imprint.

Do yourself a favour in giving yourself the night off, grabbing a bottle of red and sticking this on. I guarantee you will not regret it.

Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds , reviewed by Lemon on 2010-04-19T06:00:49-07:00 rating 3.7 out of 5

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