BIRDS OF WALES- Fall of the 49 EP

Wales has lots of birds, including red grouse, red kites and, my personal favourite, the wood warbler. I'm sure they'd all like singing along to this. In fact, I can just imagine a pair of mute swans (particularly common in the valleys) with necks entangled, perhaps staring into each other's eyes wistfully to the opening chords of single "Cinderella (Has nothing on you)". Nice.
But seriously, Canada's favourite purveyors of folk-indie-rock really do write songs good enough, when combined with their boyish good looks, to charm even the most homosexual of feathered friends from the trees, urging each and every one to join them in their stripped-bare, soul-searching shenanigans. This quartet have played support to "The Beautiful South" but don't let that put you off.

A mature and often gentle sound, quite reminiscent of Ryan Adams or a less contrived version of more epic British artists, produces a collection of generally contemplative ditties set against uplifting pop harmonies, a country swing and some notably admirable percussion sounds and multiple instrumental usage-(they have a banjo!)- which only the most down-in-the-mouth people will be unable to make a connection with. Whilst stand-out track "Life" raises it's face to the sun, the soft and sweet "Everynight" dances in the snow and the more experimental noise of "Sicamous" hints at another possible direction for them; though the subject matter of love-slash-trying-to-make-sense-of-it-all may be nothing new, the way in which BoW portray it here is extremely endearing. And hopefully enduring. They brought a smile to my sad face anyway. You can sing me to sleep anytime.

Released May 21st 2007.

Anna C