Crawling forth from the wilds of rural Michigan, the members of Breathe Owl Breathe (see photo) conjure enchanting yet rough-hewn melodies on their debut release, “Magic Central.” According to the band, the album is named for the log cabin where the trio lives and records and is meant as a representation of “a place where there is no distinction between working, creating, songwriting, practicing, and playing.”
Paste Magazine’s Ashley Meltzer has heralded the group’s “wild rumpus of rhythm and harmony,” and included them in her column on the Best of What’s Next:
“While some peers have reveled in reinvigorating the old, weird side of Americana, the band’s flare for pop-addled melodies flips the contemporary folk aesthetic, eschewing freakiness in favor of charm. It’s a dynamic built on coupling clever arrangements with lyrical whimsy.”
Indeed, whimsical is where the band is at their best. The song “Dragon” opens with a rambling summary of a fairy-tale concerning a princess and her dragon pen pal. And closing track, “Lions Jaw” features the sound of actual children, who seemingly “roar” their approval of the music that follows them.
While such antics possess a certain shambolic charm, most listeners will find little here that merits repeat listening. Perhaps it’s to the band’s credit that they craft such an inviting world of their own. However, though few people choose to live their lives in a cabin in the woods, the occasional visit can sometimes be enough.
Watch the video for “Own Stunts”
Breathe Owl Breathe release their full-length debut, “Magic Central” September 28 on Home-Tapes (www.home-tapes.com). And perform September 25 at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Mass. with Mark Olson, 7 p.m., $15-18, (413) 586-8686, www.iheg.com. For more information and tour dates please visit www.breatheowlbreathe.com.