Birds Say

After bursting on the scene as indie rockers, this Cambridge, Mass., band evolved into a unique string-quartet and one of the most spellbinding folk acts around. Birds Say shows them at the height of their considerable musical prowess, whether it's pairing quick-paced bluegrass with whimsical lyrics (“Harrison Ford”), or giving you goosebumps with the combination of some great melodies and some of the most incredible four-part harmonies you have ever heard (“Do You Ever Live?”). And it all seems so effortless, particularly on the title track, where they take sparse instrumentation and match it with four voices singing lyrics like, “Don't know what the birds say/Don't know what the birds/Listen to them all day/Nothing sounds like words.” What results is a powerful and beautiful, if somewhat abstract, sentiment. If you're a fan of folk in the vein of The Milk Carton Kids, Caitlin Canty (a frequent Darlingside collaborator) or even Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, you will love this exquisite album.