Layers of Us

Portland’s Mimicking Birds occupy the lush sonic terrain of the likes of Sigur Ros and Elbow, artists with much broader commercial reach. The band has flown under the radar for the most part, and if there is any justice, the undeniable beauty of this third studio effort, Layers of Us, will change all that. The subtleties in melodic interplay apparent on “Another Time” hint at deep recesses of intellectual and cosmic wonderment, with vocalist Nate Lacy’s floating voice adding to the song’s shoe-gazy lushness. The band’s experimental bent is put to work mostly via warbly synths and heavy guitar effects, whether supporting peppy tracks like “Sunlight Daze” and “A Part” or more cerebral downers like “Belongings.” This is a perfectly balanced and fully realized record destined for melancholy late-night playlists and ambient movie soundtracks.