(Dead Oceans)


For all its delicacy, Upper Air is “prosaically­ earthbound,” said Maddy Costa in the London Guardian. It’s no surprise to hear the Bowerbirds spinning folksy yarns about the wonders of nature on their second album. Since 2007’s Hymns for a Dark Horse, boyfriend-girlfriend duo Phil Moore and Beth Tacular have taken up residence in a self-built, eco-friendly house in North Carolina’s woods. There they composed this eloquent reflection on rustic home life. “Moore’s wispy acoustic guitar replicates the shuffle of feet through autumn leaves while Tacular’s accordion whines like a wild midnight wind through shadowy branches.” Pastoral imagery colors each pretty love song, said Chris Martins in The Onion. On the billowy “Ghost Life,” dunes and oceans are “metaphorical fodder used to soften the tougher parts of romantic entanglements.” Shades of green accent the arboreal “Bright Future,” on which Moore sings, “I live in your tall trees, among your fearless leaves.” Each song is an­ ­“intimate affair,” and together they make Upper Air “one of the year’s high-water marks.”